Alnylam Scientist Awarded Two Industry Honors
"We are very pleased and proud that Rachel has been recognized with these two distinct honors. Rachel has been an extremely valuable member of our team and has been instrumental in advancing our lead program, ALN-RSV01, into clinical development," said John Maraganore, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam. "Alnylam is committed to scientific excellence as a fundamental part of our mission of advancing RNAi therapeutics to patients, and Rachel's leadership exemplifies this commitment as part of the entire team of company scientists."
"I am sincerely honored to be recognized by R&D Directions and Mass High Tech," said Dr. Meyers. "I've been fortunate to have had so many enriching opportunities, and I am particularly grateful for those at Alnylam where I've been able to contribute to the development of an entirely new class of medicines."
R&D Directions' selection of the "Top 20 Most Notable People in R&D" is based on those who have led and made the significant breakthroughs in the discovery and development of drugs that indelibly change the ways particular diseases are treated.
The Mass High Tech "Women to Watch" program honors 10 women based on their extensive industry experience and their strong ties to the technology and scientific communities. These women are being recognized for their outstanding dedication to technology, entrepreneurship, lifelong learning and civic responsibility.
Rachel Meyers, Ph.D., is a Director of Research at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. She joined Alnylam in 2003 and has been involved in many aspects of the development of RNAi therapeutics, including serving as the project leader for Alnylam's lead program, ALN-RSV01 for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. Rachel received her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the field of in vitro transcription and completed her post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School in the field of signal transduction. Before joining Alnylam, Dr. Meyers was a senior scientist at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where she was involved in bioinformatics and the molecular and cell biology of target discovery.
About RNA Interference (RNAi)
RNA interference, or RNAi, is a naturally occurring mechanism within cells for selectively silencing and regulating specific genes. The discovery of RNAi has been widely acknowledged as a major breakthrough in biology, and the technology was recognized for its potential broad impact in medicine with the award of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Since many diseases are caused by the inappropriate activity of specific genes, the ability to silence genes selectively through RNAi could provide a new way to treat a wide range of human diseases. RNAi is induced by small, double-stranded RNA molecules. One method to activate RNAi is with chemically synthesized small interfering RNAs, or siRNAs, which are double-stranded RNAs that are targeted to a specific disease-associated gene. The siRNA molecules are used by the natural RNAi machinery in cells to cause targeted gene silencing.
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 building a pipeline of RNAi therapeutics; its lead program is in Phase I human clinical trials for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, which is the leading cause of hospitalization in infants in the U.S. 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 Merck, Medtronic, Novartis, and Biogen Idec. The company, founded in 2002, maintains global headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has an additional operating unit in Kulmbach, Germany. For more information, visit www.alnylam.com.
Alnylam Forward-Looking Statements
Various statements in this release concerning our future expectations, plans and prospects, 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 fund and the results of further pre-clinical and clinical trials; 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 our 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 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 our views as of any subsequent date. Alnylam does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Patricia Allen, 617-551-8362
Kathryn Morris, 845-635-9828
Posted: February 2007