Fierce Biotech reports on a New York Times feature article that recounts how Big Pharma is currently withdrawing from its previous activity with RNAi therapeutics. The story points out that Roche started the trend publicly last fall with its announced withdraw from the field. But other companies like Abbott, and Pfizer have similarly cut their investment (see here).
Merck-Sirna and Novartis-Alnylam deals have also failed to show much in terms of deliverables though Novartis continues to work targets uncovered in its Alnylam deal but decided not to extend it further. Now Big Pharma companies who were pioneers working with the RNAi innovators are focusing their efforts elsewhere looking for more immediate payoffs. In some cases, RNAi may no longer be the only or even best means to effect certain cellular pathways thus reducing the need to rely on this technology.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Feb 8th 2011.