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Alnylam Says Trial of Patisiran Can Continue Following Revusiran Halt
Company asked data-monitoring committee to make ruling after another trial was stopped
Oct. 10, 2016 8:19 a.m. ET
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. said a phase 3 trial for one of its drugs would continue, potentially easing investor concerns over the safety of its portfolio.

The company said a data-monitoring committee for its Phase 3 study of the drug patisiran in patients with hereditary ATTR amyloidosis with polyneuropathy, an inherited, progressive, life-threatening disease that can cause sensory and motor dysfunction resulting in disability and death, would continue. Patients have a life expectancy of five to 15 years after the onset of symptoms.

The company asked the committee to make its ruling after another one of its closely watched trials was stopped last week after patient deaths.

Last Thursday, the company’s shares plummeted 46% after the company said it would stop a late-stage trial of its drug revusiran, a potential treatment for hereditary ATTR amyloidosis with cardiomyopathy, after 18 patients died.

Shares rose 2.1% in light premarket trading.

“We’re pleased to learn of the DMC’s recommendation that dosing can continue,” Chief Medical Officer Akshay Vaishnaw said.

The company’s central therapeutic approach is a method of turning off certain genes called RNA interference, which has showed promise in recent years.

Results of the trial are expected in mid-2017.
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