Alnylam announces 25-30% reduction of workforce

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Bristol-Myers Squibb wasn't the only company that announced layoffs yesterday (see related story). Alnylam reported that it "will effect a corporate restructuring" with an approximate 25 percent to 30 percent reduction in overall workforce. CEO John Maraganore says the restructuring "will enable us to optimally position our company for continued growth and success." 

The cuts come after Alnylam's partner Novartis said it was ending a five-year research partnership focused on gene silencing drugs. The collaboration focused on the joint discovery of new therapeutics using RNAi across multiple disease areas in the Novartis research portfolio. Novartis has selected all 31 RNA-based targets it was entitled to, Xconomy notes, and the Swiss drug giant remains "fully committed" to developing them as therapeutics that could someday provide Alnylam with additional milestone payments and royalties.

The layoffs will cost the company about $3 million, most of which will be charged in the third quarter. Alnylam reaffirmed its guidance to end the year with more than $325 million in cash, TheStreet notes.

Despite the layoffs, Xconomy points out that Novartis has provided one of the biggest votes of confidence in the company by contributing to the five-year partnership and by serving as the the second largest shareholder in Alnylam with a 13.3 percent ownership stake.

Shares slid 0.6 percent to $14.14 in after-hours trading, Dow Jones reports. The stock was down 19 percent this year as of the close.

- read the Alnylam statement
- check out Xconomy's coverage
- see the Dow Jones report
- get more from TheStreet

ALSO: Newport-based Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals Inc. has notified employees it plans a 60 percent reduction in its corporate and field staff as part of a cost-cutting and business restructuring effort. News

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