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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

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January 20, 2012

Alnylam Cuts Back Hard

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Posted by Derek

The news is that Alnylam, the RNAi company just down the street from where I'm writing, is cutting about a third of its workforce to try to get its best prospects through the clinic. This is a familiar story in the small-pharma world; there's often money to try to get things through the clinic, or to pay everyone in the earlier-stage R&D - but nowhere near enough money to do both. There are companies that have gone through this stage several times, sometimes rehiring the same people when the money began flowing again.

You could see this coming, what with the news in that research space over the last couple of years. It's going to be a race to see if Alnylam can get something that will bring the income before time and resources get too tight. I wish them luck - I think there's really something there in their pipeline, but is it going to be enough, and will it be ready soon enough?

Comments (5) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets


COMMENTS

1. NH_chem on January 20, 2012 1:38 PM writes...

Perhaps the first domino to fall in the RNAi field?!?!?

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2. MB on January 20, 2012 3:03 PM writes...

Not the first domino, that would be RXi

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3. bbooooooya on January 20, 2012 7:41 PM writes...

Didn't alny also lay off ~25% in 2010?

I wonder by what % the CEO's $600,000 ($1.3 mill with bonus) salary will be cut by?

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4. LegacyMerckguy on January 21, 2012 9:22 AM writes...

@Bloooo
You CAN'T cut the upper execs' pay!!! That's because no one will do that job for a fraction of what they are getting. At least that is what I hear. I mean, it's not like there are a ton of unemployed scientists out there that would take on a job for 150K so you MUST pay the CEO highly otherwise the job would be forever vacant.

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5. Ajay Malik on January 21, 2012 5:45 PM writes...

Is this a symptom of loss in confidence in RNAi therapeutics or just the fact that a small biotech has to shift resources because they are up for batting next. Last year many big boys left the RNAi field - see here: http://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/19679/will-rnai-therapeutics-ever-succeed-roche-pfizer-abbott-merck-novartis-trim-commitments-19679.html

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