Alnylam Pharmaceuticals to layoff 33% of workforce

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc, an RNAi therapeutics company, intends to implement a strategic corporate restructuring, including an approximate 33 percent reduction in its workforce, as it aligns its resources to focus on what it believes to be the company's highest value opportunities with accelerated clinical development plans. These include a previously announced company focus on its "Alnylam 5x15" RNAi therapeutic product strategy with ALN-TTR for the treatment of transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis (ATTR) and ALN-APC for the treatment of hemophilia as lead programs and advancement of other pipeline programs with existing alliances and new partnerships.

"We have made remarkable progress in advancing RNAi therapeutics as a new class of innovative medicines, including recent results demonstrating human proof of concept in our ALN-TTR program and clinical efficacy for RNAi therapeutics in our ALN-PCS program. As we effect our ongoing transformation from a platform company to a product company, now is the time to focus our near-term efforts and resources on what we believe to be our highest value opportunities; specifically, accelerated clinical development plans for our programs in transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis and hemophilia, while advancing other pipeline programs through existing alliances and new partnerships that we aim to form in the future.

As a result of this increased focus, we are making a business decision to implement an organizational restructuring that will include an approximate 33% reduction in our workforce," said John Maraganore, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam. "At a personal level, this was a very difficult decision to make, but we are convinced that it is an important step in continuing to build our company for the long term. As we implement this change, we are grateful to all our employees for their dedication, passion, and commitment in advancing RNAi therapeutics to patients."

Alnylam expects the reduction in personnel costs, along with other external costs, to result in a savings of approximately $20 million in 2012 cash operating expenses. Alnylam estimates that it will incur one-time restructuring costs of approximately $4 million including employee severance, benefits, and related costs, which it expects to incur in the first quarter of 2012. The company recently increased its year-end 2011 cash guidance to approximately $260 million, and will provide financial guidance for 2012 in connection with its 2011 financial results announcement in February.

Source: Boston Citybiz List