It's now official. Novartis will shut down the remaining portion of its RNAi program. For the most part, this had been done back in 2010 when Novartis failed to re-up its co-development effort with then partner Alnylam. Now, Novartis says the problems with formulation and delivery of RNAi therapies coupled with few targets to work with -- make the program non-feasible.
Twenty-six Novartis employees will be affected by the shut down. The comapny says it is trying to relocae as many as possible within its exisiting restructured business. Novartis' decision to call it quits in RNAi follows the lead of Roche and Merck. Conversely, Sanofi signed a new $700 M deal with Alnylam last year. Eventually we'll see if any of this pans out for RNAi therapeutics -- but even if it does the opportunity cost may have been too high for any of the three major exiting companies to care. See Fierce Biotech.
Posted by Bruce Lehr April 14th 2014.