Alnylam announced that it will need to trim back its staff by another 33% so that it can conserve cash and focus on its two lead candidates in the clinic. The Company stated it will trim 56 persons' jobs -- saving about $20 M per year. It will also focus on its phase I development programs with amyloidosis and hemophilia.
The whole RNAi field has been thrown in disarray over the past couple years as the drugs have proven to be difficult to deliver into cells. Roche, Merck and Novartis among big players have deeply curtailed or stopped their RNAi programs. No current RNAi drugs are on the market despite billions of dollars in development funding.
Undeterred (Ok maybe deterred), Alnylam will take its $260 M in the bank and push forward on its two candidates. It says it will become less of a platform company and try to make the transition to a product company. In the meantime, focus and austerity are the catch phrases until better clinical success and more investment is forthcoming. See Xconomy and Fierce Biotech.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Jan 23rd 2012.