Alnylam Pharmaceuticals' (NASDAQ:ALNY) deep pipeline is far superior to those of its competitors in the RNAi drug development space. But does this treatment mechanism work? Without an approved drug on the market, it's hard to be sure. What we do know, though, is that if it is successful, the opportunity is huge. Find out what's going on at Alnylam in this clip of Industry Focus: Healthcare.

A transcript follows the video.

This podcast was recorded on March 10, 2016, and was released on May 18, 2016.

Max Macaluso: Alnylam is the most prominent example of a company working in this space. It's a leader in this area of research. It has a $5 billion market cap. It's a very exciting biotech to watch, but it doesn't currently have any drugs on the market. It has two programs in phase 3 development, the rest of its assets are in phase 2 or earlier. But, it does have a very deep pipeline of therapeutics that could have huge market potential. I think, for investors, the focus at this stage is less about the market opportunity and more about whether or not they can get a drug approved by the FDA in this drug class. If it's able to do that, it can basically just create a brand-new type of therapeutic that we just haven't seen before.

Kristine Harjes: Yeah, and, unfortunately, you're going to have to just sit tight on that -- the company's not expected to file its first application until 2017. So, we're looking at maybe seeing approval in 2018. The company itself is not expected to be profitable until at least 2020. So, definitely a bit of a waiting game right now. But I think you're totally right that if we were to see even a single approval, it would go a long way to validating this entire class of drugs, and the rest of the company's pipeline.

Kristine Harjes has no position in any stocks mentioned. Max Macaluso, Ph.D. has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.