Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Chief Scientific Officer Kenneth Koblan to Leave Company
Published: Jun 24, 2011
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), a leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today that Kenneth Koblan, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, is leaving the company. "For personal reasons, Ken has decided to return to big pharma, and leave Alnylam. We wish him well in his future endeavors," said John Maraganore, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam. "We have the highest confidence that our research organization will continue with scientific excellence as we lead the translation of RNAi into an entire new class of medicines." About RNA Interference (RNAi) 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 RNAs (siRNAs), 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.