Shares of Opko and Alnylam have slid since a new study published in late March concluded that experimental drugs developed with the hot new science of RNA interference may work by activating the human immune system rather than by silencing select genes. That conclusion, notes New York Times biotech writer Andrew Pollack, suggests that the entire field could be much less precise than previously imagined, with unexpected consequences for patients' health that could threaten a variety of clinical programs. For now, the companies involved say that they have data demonstrating that their drugs are safe and work as intended. There are at least five RNAi therapies in clinical development now consisting of short sequences of double-stranded RNA.
- check out the New York Times article