Healthcare Industry News: RNAi therapeutics
News Release - November 16, 2007
Alnylam Expands Management Team with New AppointmentsCAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY ), a leading RNAi therapeutics company, today announced the expansion of its management team with the appointment of two individuals to key positions. The company named Stuart Pollard, Ph.D., to the position of Vice President, Scientific and Business Strategy, and Donna Ward, Ph.D., to the position of Vice President, Intellectual Property.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to attract such highly qualified individuals to Alnylam and are delighted to welcome Stuart and Donna to our team,” said John Maraganore, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam. “They each bring extensive experience in their areas of expertise. Their depth of knowledge and understanding of our industry will be extremely valuable as we continue to build a top-tier biopharmaceutical company founded on RNAi.”
Stuart Pollard, Ph.D.
Vice President, Scientific and Business Strategy
Dr. Pollard brings broad scientific and business expertise to Alnylam. Prior to joining, he was employed by Maxygen, Inc. for eight years where he held positions of increasing responsibility across both scientific and business development initiatives, culminating in his most recent role as Chief Scientific Officer. Before Maxygen, Dr. Pollard worked at Biogen Idec for 10 years, during which time he held positions in both the R&D and business development organizations. Dr. Pollard earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Virology from the University of Reading in the U.K., and completed his post-doctoral work in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Harvard University. In his role at Alnylam, Dr. Pollard will be reporting to the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
“The breakthrough field of RNAi represents the opportunity to create an entirely new product platform for the discovery and development of innovative medicines, and I am excited to play a role in this revolution,” said Dr. Pollard. “Alnylam has made tremendous progress to date and I look forward to working with the outstanding team already in place to continue advancing the company’s scientific and business initiatives.”
Donna Ward, Ph.D.
Vice President, Intellectual Property
Dr. Ward comes to Alnylam with nearly 10 years of industry experience, most recently as a patent attorney with the Elmore Patent Law Group where she represented companies in both the biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industries with a focus on strategic counseling and pharmaceutical lifecycle management. Previously, Dr. Ward spent seven years at Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. managing a significant portion of their chemistry and biology portfolios. Dr. Ward earned her J.D. from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Kentucky, College of Medicine. She also received postdoctoral training at Vanderbilt University studying DNA adducts. Dr. Ward will be reporting to Barry Greene, the company’s Chief Operating Officer.
“Alnylam has positioned itself as a leader in the field of RNAi therapeutics on several levels, and this includes the area of intellectual property, where I believe Alnylam’s IP estate is unparalleled,” said Dr. Ward. “I look forward to continuing to advance this critical strategic asset for Alnylam to drive continued innovation and business development as we build a leading biopharmaceutical company.”
Alnylam also announced today that Robert Millman, the company’s former Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, has transitioned to a role as consultant to the organization.
About RNA Interference (RNAi)
RNAi is a revolution in biology, representing a breakthrough in understanding how genes are turned on and off in cells, and a completely new approach to drug discovery and development. Its discovery has been heralded as “a major scientific breakthrough that happens once every decade or so,” and represents one of the most promising and rapidly advancing frontiers in biology and drug discovery today, and was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. RNAi is a natural process of gene silencing that occurs in organisms ranging from plants to mammals. By harnessing the natural biological process of RNAi occurring in our cells, the creation of a major new class of medicines, known as RNAi therapeutics, is on the horizon. RNAi therapeutics target the cause of diseases by potently silencing specific messenger RNAs (mRNAs), thereby preventing disease-causing proteins from being made. RNAi therapeutics have the potential to treat disease and help patients in a fundamentally new way.
About Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
Alnylam is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics based on RNA interference, or RNAi. The company is applying its therapeutic expertise in RNAi to address significant medical needs, many of which cannot effectively be addressed with small molecules or antibodies, the current major classes of drugs. Alnylam is leading the translation of RNAi as a new class of innovative medicines with peer-reviewed research efforts published in the world’s top scientific journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, and Cell. The company is leveraging these capabilities to build a broad pipeline of RNAi therapeutics; its most advanced program is in Phase II human clinical trials for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. In addition, the company is developing RNAi therapeutics for the treatment of influenza, hypercholesterolemia, and liver cancers, among other diseases. The company’s leadership position in fundamental patents, technology, and know-how relating to RNAi has enabled it to form major alliances with leading companies, including Medtronic, Novartis, Biogen Idec, and Roche. The company, founded in 2002, maintains headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.alnylam.com.
Alnylam Forward-Looking Statements
Various statements in this release concerning Alnylam’s future expectations, plans and prospects, the creation of a class of medicines based on RNAi and the potential for RNAi therapeutics, constitute forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including risks related to: our approach to discover and develop novel drugs, which is unproven and may never lead to marketable products; our ability to attract and retain highly qualified employees; obtaining, maintaining and protecting intellectual property utilized by our products; our ability to enforce our patents against infringers and to defend our patent portfolio against challenges from third parties; our ability to obtain additional funding to support our business activities; our dependence on third parties for development, manufacture, marketing, sales and distribution of products; the successful development of Alnylam’s product candidates, all of which are in early stages of development; obtaining regulatory approval for products; competition from others using technology similar to ours and others developing products for similar uses; our dependence on collaborators; and our short operating history; as well as those risks more fully discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of our most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent our views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Alnylam does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
Source: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
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