Alnylam sees further growth at its European Clinical Development and Regulatory Hub
Alnylam, founded in 2002 and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is the leading corporate exponent of RNAi therapeutics (RNA interference), which makes it possible to “silence” disease-causing genes. It has a broad range of drug candidates in clinical trials for rare inherited diseases and for more common metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.
Clinical trials to test the RNAi platform for the first time in humans were designed through collaboration between UK experts and Alnylam researchers in Cambridge, Massachusetts; thereafter, the UK’s demonstrated expertise in clinical trials design made it an ideal location to perform early clinical testing. It was then, according to Brendan Martin, General Manager, UK & Ireland, “a natural step to establish a European hub in Maidenhead, where the ex-US clinical development and regulatory affairs teams are now located.” The office opened on 20 September 2016, and since then staff numbers have increased to 20.
Alnylam anticipates the commercialisation of its first product in 2019, and is now developing its capabilities accordingly. Whilst the company’s Europe & Canada commercial headquarters are in Switzerland, the UK office is now tapping into the rich talent pools in the Thames Valley to recruit staff with Commercial, Clinical Development, Regulatory and EU HQ experience.
“We received excellent support from the DIT who, together with the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, provided us with valuable introductions to organisations such as the Oxford Rare Disease Network and individuals such as Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University.
This has helped to develop our understanding of UK policy in relation to the Life Sciences sector, which was particularly useful at the start of our UK operation.”
Brendan Martin, General Manager, UK & Ireland, Alnylam