Alnylam Appoints Harvard Prof to Board

RNAi therapeutics company Alnylam Pharmaceuticals has appointed Dennis Ausiello to its board of directors and scientific advisory board. Ausiello is the Jackson Professor of clinical medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Founded in 2002, Alnylam has headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ALNY +0.33% , a leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today the election of Dennis A. Ausiello, M.D. to its Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Ausiello is the Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

“Denny is recognized internationally as a leader in academic medicine, with a strong commitment to the translation of scientific discoveries toward the development of innovative therapies,” said John Maraganore, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam. “Denny’s deep experience in biomedical research will strengthen our existing efforts as we continue to build Alnylam as a leader in RNAi therapeutics. Indeed, given our recent clinical progress and upcoming plans for initiating pivotal clinical trials, Denny’s addition to our team of Directors and scientific advisors comes at an opportune time as we advance our therapeutics to patients.”

“Alnylam is one of the leading innovation-based biotechnology companies, and a pioneer in advancing an entirely new class of high impact medicines with RNAi therapeutics,” said Dr. Ausiello. “In recent years, they have made tremendous progress in their efforts advancing RNAi therapeutics in the clinic with very encouraging results, and I look forward to working with the outstanding team in place and contributing to this important endeavor.”

As Chief of Medicine at MGH, a position he has held since 1996, Dr. Ausiello leads one of the strongest Departments of Medicine in the country. He is closely involved with Partners HealthCare, linking the resources of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to provide comprehensive health care. He was President of the Association of American Physicians in 2006 and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Ausiello also serves in a variety of advisory roles beyond his academic affiliations. He serves on the Board of Directors of Pfizer Inc. and TARIS Biomedical, Inc. He serves as an advisor to a number of biotechnology companies including BIND Biosciences and Promedior, Inc., amongst others, and to Polaris Venture Partners. Dr. Ausiello received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

About RNA Interference (RNAi)

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 RNAs (siRNAs), 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 for the treatment of genetically defined diseases, including ALN-TTR for the treatment of transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis (ATTR), ALN-PCS for the treatment of severe hypercholesterolemia, ALN-HPN for the treatment of refractory anemia, ALN-APC for the treatment of hemophilia, and ALN-TMP for the treatment of hemoglobinopathies. As part of its “Alnylam 5×15(TM)” strategy, the company expects to have five RNAi therapeutic products for genetically defined diseases in clinical development, including programs in advanced stages, on its own or with a partner by the end of 2015. Alnylam has additional partner-based programs in clinical or development stages, including ALN-RSV01 for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, ALN-VSP for the treatment of liver cancers, and ALN-HTT for the treatment of Huntington’s disease. The company’s leadership position on RNAi therapeutics and intellectual property have enabled it to form major alliances with leading companies including Merck, Medtronic, Novartis, Biogen Idec, Roche, Takeda, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, and Cubist. In addition, Alnylam and Isis co-founded Regulus Therapeutics Inc., a company focused on discovery, development, and commercialization of microRNA therapeutics; Regulus has formed partnerships with GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi. Alnylam has also formed Alnylam Biotherapeutics, a division of the company focused on the development of RNAi technologies for applications in biologics manufacturing, including recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies. Alnylam’s VaxiRNA(TM) platform applies RNAi technology to improve the manufacturing processes for vaccines; GlaxoSmithKline is a collaborator in this effort. Alnylam scientists and collaborators have published their research on RNAi therapeutics in over 100 peer-reviewed papers, including many in the world’s top scientific journals such as Nature, Nature Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, and Cell. Founded in 2002, Alnylam maintains headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Alnylam Forward-Looking Statements

Various statements in this release concerning Alnylam’s future expectations, plans and prospects, including without limitation, statements regarding Alnylam’s views with respect to the potential for RNAi therapeutics, and Alnylam’s expectations regarding its “Alnylam 5×15” product strategy, 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 discover and develop novel drug candidates, 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, obtaining regulatory approval for products, competition from others using technology similar to Alnylam’s and others developing products for similar uses, and Alnylam’s ability to establish and maintain strategic business alliances and new business initiatives, as well as those risks more fully discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of its most recent annual report on Form 10-K on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 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 does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

SOURCE: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.