Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Alnylam opens new development and commercial hub in Maidenhead, UK

Published 20 September 2016

RNAi therapeutics firm Alnylam Pharmaceuticals has opened a new development and commercial hub in Maidenhead, UK.

In anticipation of substantial growth across Alnylam over the next five years, the office opens with a core Clinical Development, Regulatory Affairs, and Commercial team and space for an additional 100 employees.

Alnylam Executive VP of R&D and Chief Medical Officer Akshay Vaishnaw said: "Since our inception in 2002, Alnylam has pioneered new and innovative potential treatments for challenging diseases. This effort has yielded a robust clinical pipeline with 10 programmes in development across our three Strategic Therapeutic Areas or STArs.

"We're thrilled to be expanding our global presence in the United Kingdom and Maidenhead in particular. This important new office will play a critical role in advancing our cutting-edge investigational RNAi therapies toward regulatory approval and launch in European markets to benefit patients with life-threatening diseases as quickly as possible."

An office in Maidenhead allows Alnylam to support company growth in Europe, through its access to highly-skilled individuals, and proximity to scientific centres and regulatory agencies.

Alnylam General Manager for UK & Ireland Brendan Martin said: "With its strong academic and clinical research sector, as well as its universal health service and regulatory bodies constantly striving to be more streamlined and efficient, the UK has a lot to offer as a development hub for innovative medicines.

"Our investment here signals a trust that the UK community will continue to treat this mission with the urgency and importance it deserves."

Alnylam's progress with its clinical programmes in the UK to date has been in large part due to the support and contributions of numerous expert collaborators at many outstanding Phase 1 units and academic sites across the UK.

The expansion is being marked with a celebration at the new Maidenhead office. Speaking at the event are the Worshipful the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Councillor Mrs. Sayonara Luxton, Steve Bates, CEO of the BioIndustry Association, and Luke Pembroke, Haemophilia patient and Youth Ambassador for the UK Haemophilia Society.

About 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 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.

Source: Company Press Release