CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), a leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today the appointment of Pushkal Garg, M.D., to the position of Senior Vice President, Clinical Development. Dr. Garg has extensive experience in clinical development across a broad range of therapeutic areas. At Alnylam, he will join the existing development team and be responsible for managing the company's clinical research, clinical operations, and biometrics functions.
"We are entering a particularly exciting time in the evolution of our company where clinical data from our pipeline of novel RNAi therapeutics highlight what we believe to be significant potential for RNAi therapeutics as a new class of genetic medicines. Accordingly, we are delighted to welcome Pushkal to the Alnylam team. His experience and expertise in early and late-stage drug development will be tremendously valuable as we continue to advance our pipeline of RNAi therapeutics through the clinic," said Akshay Vaishnaw, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Alnylam. "Indeed, Pushkal brings a deep understanding of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, extensive experience, as well as a proven track record of success, and I am excited to have him join our team as we expand our clinical development capabilities."
"The breakthrough field of RNAi therapeutics represents a unique opportunity to develop and bring to market novel drugs that have the potential to treat a broad array of human diseases with significant unmet need. Alnylam has made tremendous progress in advancing this innovative technology towards an entirely new class of medicines," said Pushkal Garg, M.D., Senior Vice President, Clinical Development at Alnylam. "I am thrilled to be joining Akshay and the broader Alnylam development team at this important stage, as we advance our pipeline of novel therapies through the clinic. I look forward to being part of a team that is so passionate and committed to advancing RNAi therapeutics to patients."
Dr. Garg joins Alnylam with close to 15 years of experience in clinical drug development. Most recently, he served as Vice President, Global Clinical Research, Immunoscience at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). In this role he was responsible for strategic leadership of the Immunoscience franchise and the successful development of multiple clinical assets across immune-mediated diseases in the areas of rheumatology, gastroenterology, nephrology, and transplantation. During his eight-year tenure at BMS, he was instrumental to the late-stage development and approval of Nulojix® (belatacept) for kidney transplant recipients, and for supplementary biologics license applications (BLA) for Orencia® (abatacept) around the world. Previously, Dr. Garg was at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he worked in various roles of increasing responsibility, overseeing the clinical development of multiple small molecule and biologic therapeutics for the treatment of inflammatory disorders. Dr. Garg received a Bachelor of Arts with high honors in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco. He completed residency training in Internal Medicine at UCSF, was a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Johns Hopkins University, and served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and the Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston prior to joining industry.
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.
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 as genetic medicines, including programs as part of the company's "Alnylam 5x15™" product strategy. Alnylam's genetic medicine programs are RNAi therapeutics directed toward genetically defined targets for the treatment of serious, life-threatening diseases with limited treatment options for patients and their caregivers. These include: patisiran (ALN-TTR02), an intravenously delivered RNAi therapeutic targeting transthyretin (TTR) for the treatment of TTR-mediated amyloidosis (ATTR) in patients with familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (FAP); ALN-TTRsc, a subcutaneously delivered RNAi therapeutic targeting TTR for the treatment of ATTR in patients with TTR cardiac amyloidosis, including familial amyloidotic cardiomyopathy (FAC) and senile systemic amyloidosis (SSA); ALN-AT3, an RNAi therapeutic targeting antithrombin (AT) for the treatment of hemophilia and rare bleeding disorders (RBD); ALN-CC5, an RNAi therapeutic targeting complement component C5 for the treatment of complement-mediated diseases; ALN-AS1, an RNAi therapeutic targeting aminolevulinic acid synthase-1 (ALAS-1) for the treatment of hepatic porphyrias including acute intermittent porphyria (AIP); ALN-PCS, an RNAi therapeutic targeting PCSK9 for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia; ALN-AAT, an RNAi therapeutic targeting alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) for the treatment of AAT deficiency-associated liver disease; ALN-HBV, an RNAi therapeutic targeting the hepatitis B virus (HBV) genome for the treatment of HBV infection; ALN-TMP, an RNAi therapeutic targeting TMPRSS6 for the treatment of beta-thalassemia and iron-overload disorders; ALN-ANG, an RNAi therapeutic targeting angiopoietin-like 3 (ANGPTL3) for the treatment of genetic forms of mixed hyperlipidemia and severe hypertriglyceridemia; ALN-AC3, an RNAi therapeutic targeting apolipoprotein C-III (apoCIII) for the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia; ALN-AGT, an RNAi therapeutic targeting angiotensinogen (AGT) for the treatment of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP), including preeclampsia; ALN-GO1, an RNAi therapeutic targeting glycolate oxidase (GO) for the treatment of primary hyperoxaluria type 1 (PH1); and other programs yet to be disclosed. As part of its "Alnylam 5x15" strategy, as updated in early 2014, the company expects to have six to seven genetic medicine product candidates in clinical development – including at least two programs in Phase 3 and five to six programs with human proof of concept – by the end of 2015. The company's demonstrated commitment to RNAi therapeutics has enabled it to form major alliances with leading companies including Merck, Medtronic, Novartis, Biogen Idec, Roche, Takeda, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, Cubist, GlaxoSmithKline, Ascletis, Monsanto, and The Medicines Company. In early 2014, Alnylam and Genzyme, a Sanofi company, formed a multi-product geographic alliance on Alnylam's genetic medicine programs in the rare disease field. Specifically, Alnylam will lead development and commercialization of programs in North America and Europe, while Genzyme will develop and commercialize products in the rest of world. In addition, Alnylam and Genzyme will co-develop and co-commercialize ALN-TTRsc in North America and Europe. In March 2014, Alnylam acquired Sirna Therapeutics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck. In addition, Alnylam holds an equity position in Regulus Therapeutics Inc., a company focused on discovery, development, and commercialization of microRNA therapeutics. Alnylam scientists and collaborators have published their research on RNAi therapeutics in over 200 peer-reviewed papers, including many in the world's top scientific journals such as Nature, Nature Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, Cell, New England Journal of Medicine, and The Lancet. Founded in 2002, Alnylam maintains headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit www.alnylam.com.
Alnylam Forward-Looking Statements
Various statements in this release concerning Alnylam's future expectations, plans and prospects, including without limitation, Alnylam's views with respect to the potential for RNAi therapeutics, as well as its expectations regarding its "Alnylam 5x15" product strategy, and its plans regarding commercialization of RNAi therapeutics, 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 and delivery approaches, 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, Alnylam's ability to enforce its patents against infringers and defend its patent portfolio against challenges from third parties, obtaining regulatory approval for products, competition from others using technology similar to Alnylam's and others developing products for similar uses, Alnylam's ability to manage operating expenses, Alnylam's ability to obtain additional funding to support its business activities and establish and maintain strategic business alliances and new business initiatives, Alnylam's dependence on third parties for development, manufacture, marketing, sales and distribution of products, the outcome of litigation, and unexpected expenditures, as well as those risks more fully discussed in the "Risk Factors" filed with Alnylam's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and in other filings that Alnylam makes with the SEC. 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 explicitly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.