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Alnylam Shares Plunge as a Drug Candidate Is Discontinued -- Update
Updated Oct. 5, 2016 6:51 p.m. ET
By Josh Beckerman
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. said it discontinued development of its rare-disease treatment revusiran following unfavorable clinical trial data, an announcement that led to the loss of about $2.6 billion in market value in after-hours trading.

The company, which focuses on treatments for rare diseases, was developing the drug as a potential treatment for hereditary ATTR amyloidosis with cardiomyopathy. ATTR amyloidosis, an often-fatal disease, involves accumulation of proteins that damage organs and tissue.

The data-monitoring committee for a late-stage trial told the company that the benefit-risk profile didn't support continued dosing. Alnylam then reviewed unblinded data that showed "an imbalance of mortality" compared with placebo, the company said.

Alnylam shares fell 43% to $40.15 in after-hours trading, giving the company a market value of about $3.4 billion. At the 4 p.m. close, the stock was valued at $6.03 billion.

Alnylam said its discontinuance of revusiran won't affect patisiran, now in Phase 3 trials for treatment of hATTR amyloidosis with polyneuropathy, or any other Alnylam investigational RNAi therapeutic programs.

The company is collaborating with Medicines Co. on a potential treatment for hypercholesterolemia known as ALN-PCSsc or PCSK9si. Medicines Co. said Wednesday that interim Phase 2 data showed "impressive" safety data, with no material safety issues. Alnylam and Medicines Co. announced their collaboration in early 2013.

Medicines Co. shares fell 12% to $34 in after-hours trading.

In 2014, Alnylam and a Sanofi unit formed a broad alliance to develop drugs aimed at treating rare genetic diseases.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Alnylam said it is reaffirming its "Alnylam 2020" guidance, a list of several goals announced in 2015, including having three marketed products and 10 RNAi programs by the end of 2020.

Write to Josh Beckerman at josh.beckerman@wsj.com
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