Healthcare Industry News: RNAi therapeutics
News Release - July 2, 2014
Alnylam Elects Amy Schulman to its Board of DirectorsAppointment of Industry Leader Brings Broad Strategic, Commercial, and Legal Experience to Board
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)--Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALNY), a leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today the election of Amy W. Schulman to its Board of Directors. Ms. Schulman is the former Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Pfizer Inc., and served as the Business Unit Lead for Pfizer’s Consumer Healthcare business. She currently serves on the faculty of Harvard Business School as a Senior Lecturer.
“Amy is a recognized leader in the development and growth of global pharmaceutical businesses, and she will bring this expertise to our Board as we continue to build Alnylam as a leading biotechnology company. As the former General Counsel at Pfizer, Amy also brings deep legal expertise to our Board,” said John Maraganore, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam. “Given our robust clinical progress and our potential transition to a commercial company in the coming years, Amy’s addition to our Board comes at an opportune time as we advance RNAi therapeutics to patients.”
“I am excited to join the Board of Alnylam, a first-in-class innovation-based biotechnology company, and a pioneer in advancing an entirely new class of high impact medicines with RNAi therapeutics,” said Ms. Schulman. “The tremendous progress Alnylam has made in its clinical efforts has yielded very encouraging results. I look forward to working with the outstanding team of management and directors in place today and contributing to the company’s value creation strategy and execution.”
Ms. Schulman originally joined Pfizer in 2008 as General Counsel and saw the company through its $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth. In 2010, in addition to her role as General Counsel, Ms. Schulman became President and General Manager of Pfizer’s $2.1 billion global infant formula and nutrition business. Once that business was sold to Nestlé she assumed responsibility for the Consumer Healthcare business. Before joining Pfizer, she was a partner at DLA Piper, where she was a member of the Board and Executive Policy Committees, and built and led the international law firm’s mass tort and class-action practice. Ms. Schulman’s accomplishments have earned her recognition from leading publications and organizations. In 2013 Fortune magazine named her one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business.” That same year, The American Lawyer named her one of the “Top 50 Innovators,” and The National Law Journal named her one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.” The American Bar Association honored her with the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement award in 2012. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University, Ms. Schulman earned her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1989. She serves on the Board of Directors of The Brookings Institution and Wesleyan University.
RNAi (RNA interference) 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 which 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. Small interfering RNA (siRNA), the molecules that mediate RNAi and comprise Alnylam’s RNAi therapeutic platform, target the cause of diseases by potently silencing specific 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 leading the translation of RNAi as a new class of innovative medicines with a core focus on RNAi therapeutics as genetic medicines, including programs as part of the company’s “Alnylam 5x15TM” product strategy. Alnylam’s genetic medicine programs are RNAi therapeutics directed toward genetically defined targets for the treatment of serious, life-threatening diseases with limited treatment options for patients and their caregivers. These include: patisiran (ALN-TTR02), an intravenously delivered RNAi therapeutic targeting transthyretin (TTR) for the treatment of TTR-mediated amyloidosis (ATTR) in patients with familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (FAP); ALN-TTRsc, a subcutaneously delivered RNAi therapeutic targeting TTR for the treatment of ATTR in patients with TTR cardiac amyloidosis, including familial amyloidotic cardiomyopathy (FAC) and senile systemic amyloidosis (SSA); ALN-AT3, an RNAi therapeutic targeting antithrombin (AT) for the treatment of hemophilia and rare bleeding disorders (RBD); ALN-CC5, an RNAi therapeutic targeting complement component C5 for the treatment of complement-mediated diseases; ALN-AS1, an RNAi therapeutic targeting aminolevulinic acid synthase-1 (ALAS-1) for the treatment of hepatic porphyrias including acute intermittent porphyria (AIP); ALN-PCS, an RNAi therapeutic targeting PCSK9 for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia; ALN-AAT, an RNAi therapeutic targeting alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) for the treatment of AAT deficiency-associated liver disease; ALN-TMP, an RNAi therapeutic targeting TMPRSS6 for the treatment of beta-thalassemia and iron-overload disorders; ALN-ANG, an RNAi therapeutic targeting angiopoietin-like 3 (ANGPTL3) for the treatment of genetic forms of mixed hyperlipidemia and severe hypertriglyceridemia; ALN-AC3, an RNAi therapeutic targeting apolipoprotein C-III (apoCIII) for the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia; and other programs yet to be disclosed. As part of its “Alnylam 5x15” strategy, as updated in early 2014, the company expects to have six to seven genetic medicine product candidates in clinical development - including at least two programs in Phase 3 and five to six programs with human proof of concept - by the end of 2015. Alnylam is also developing ALN-HBV, an RNAi therapeutic targeting the hepatitis B virus (HBV) genome for the treatment of HBV infection. The company’s demonstrated commitment to RNAi therapeutics has enabled it to form major alliances with leading companies including Merck, Medtronic, Novartis, Biogen Idec, Roche, Takeda, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, Cubist, GlaxoSmithKline, Ascletis, Monsanto, The Medicines Company, and Genzyme, a Sanofi company. In March 2014, Alnylam acquired Sirna Therapeutics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck. In addition, Alnylam holds an equity position in Regulus Therapeutics Inc., a company focused on discovery, development, and commercialization of microRNA therapeutics. Alnylam scientists and collaborators have published their research on RNAi therapeutics in over 200 peer-reviewed papers, including many in the world’s top scientific journals such as Nature, Nature Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, Cell, the New England Journal of Medicine, and The Lancet. Founded in 2002, Alnylam maintains headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit www.alnylam.com.
Alnylam Forward-Looking Statements
Various statements in this release concerning Alnylam’s future expectations, plans and prospects, including without limitation, Alnylam’s views with respect to the potential for RNAi therapeutics, its expectations regarding its “Alnylam 5x15” product strategy, and its plans regarding commercialization of 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, without limitation, Alnylam’s ability to manage operating expenses, Alnylam’s ability to discover and develop novel drug candidates and delivery approaches, successfully demonstrate the efficacy and safety of its drug candidates, the pre-clinical and clinical results for its product candidates, which may not support further development of product candidates, actions of regulatory agencies, which may affect the initiation, timing and progress of clinical trials, obtaining, maintaining and protecting intellectual property, Alnylam’s ability to enforce its patents against infringers and defend its patent portfolio against challenges from third parties, obtaining regulatory approval for products, competition from others using technology similar to Alnylam’s and others developing products for similar uses, Alnylam’s ability to obtain additional funding to support its business activities and establish and maintain strategic business alliances and new business initiatives, Alnylam’s dependence on third parties for development, manufacture, marketing, sales and distribution of products, the outcome of litigation, and unexpected expenditures, as well as those risks more fully discussed in the “Risk Factors” filed with Alnylam’s most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and in other filings that Alnylam makes with the SEC. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent Alnylam’s views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Alnylam explicitly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
Source: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
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