About this Author
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: Twitter: Dereklowe

Chemistry and Drug Data: Drugbank
Chempedia Lab
Synthetic Pages
Organic Chemistry Portal
Not Voodoo

Chemistry and Pharma Blogs:
Org Prep Daily
The Haystack
A New Merck, Reviewed
Liberal Arts Chemistry
Electron Pusher
All Things Metathesis
C&E News Blogs
Chemiotics II
Chemical Space
Noel O'Blog
In Vivo Blog
Terra Sigilatta
BBSRC/Douglas Kell
Realizations in Biostatistics
ChemSpider Blog
Organic Chem - Education & Industry
Pharma Strategy Blog
No Name No Slogan
Practical Fragments
The Curious Wavefunction
Natural Product Man
Fragment Literature
Chemistry World Blog
Synthetic Nature
Chemistry Blog
Synthesizing Ideas
Eye on FDA
Chemical Forums
Symyx Blog
Sceptical Chymist
Lamentations on Chemistry
Computational Organic Chemistry
Mining Drugs
Henry Rzepa

Science Blogs and News:
Bad Science
The Loom
Uncertain Principles
Fierce Biotech
Blogs for Industry
Omics! Omics!
Young Female Scientist
Notional Slurry
Nobel Intent
SciTech Daily
Science Blog
Gene Expression (I)
Gene Expression (II)
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Transterrestrial Musings
Slashdot Science
Cosmic Variance
Biology News Net

Medical Blogs
DB's Medical Rants
Science-Based Medicine
Respectful Insolence
Diabetes Mine

Economics and Business
Marginal Revolution
The Volokh Conspiracy
Knowledge Problem

Politics / Current Events
Virginia Postrel
Belmont Club
Mickey Kaus

Belles Lettres
Uncouth Reflections
Arts and Letters Daily
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

« Zelboraf: Treat One Cancer, Speed Up Another? | Main | Worst Lecture of All, Or Greatest? »

January 20, 2012

Alnylam Cuts Back Hard

Email This Entry

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


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

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

Permalink to Comment

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

Not the first domino, that would be RXi

Permalink to Comment

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?

Permalink to Comment

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

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.

Permalink to Comment

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:

Permalink to Comment


Remember Me?


Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):

The Last Post
The GSK Layoffs Continue, By Proxy
The Move is Nigh
Another Alzheimer's IPO
Cutbacks at C&E News
Sanofi Pays to Get Back Into Oncology
An Irresponsible Statement About Curing Cancer
Oliver Sacks on Turning Back to Chemistry