Roche R&D cuts won’t hurt Alnylam, firm says
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. said a decision by drug maker Roche to scale back on some research activities "does not fundamentally impact Alnylam's financial position."
Cambridge-based Alnylam focuses on developing RNAi therapeutics. According to an AP story from January, Roche of Switzerland licensed Alnylam's research into RNA interference technology, or RNAi, in July 2007 in a deal that included $331 million upfront and a potential total value of more than $1 billion. Alnylam said the drug discovery part of the partnership began in November 2009.
Today's press release from Alnylam noted that Roche receently decided to "effect a broad-based corporate restructuring that will result in discontinuation of certain activities in research and early development, including RNAi research conducted in Kulmbach, Germany and Madison, Wisconsin."
Alnylam said today that Roche's "restructuring does not fundamentally impact Alnylam's financial position nor current or future plans in building its pipeline and advancing RNAi therapeutics as a whole new class of medicines."
Alnylam's release included a statement from John Maraganore, Alnylam's chief executive.
"While we are disappointed and surprised to hear of their portfolio decision given the progress being made in the RNAi field, we remain more confident than ever in our efforts to advance RNAi therapeutics as a whole new class of innovative medicines to patients," Maraganore said.