What happened

Shares of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALNY) a clinical-stage biotech, notched a 10.1% gain to end Monday's session. It was a good day all around for biotechnology stocks. The industry-tracking iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NASDAQ:IBB) posted a 2.9% gain.

So what 

Alnylam shares have steadily recovered since getting hammered last year following an announcement in October that the company would discontinue development of perhaps its most valuable candidate at the time -- revusiran, for the treatment of heart damage associated with the buildup of transthyretin. 

Hand drawing an upward sloping chart

Image source: Getty Images.

The company will continue with a related candidate, patisiran, for nerve damage that arises from buildup of faulty transthyretin as well, although it's aimed at a smaller potential patient population than revusiran was.

Now what

Alnylam should have late-stage data for patisiran around the middle of the year that could support the company's first new-drug application. If the data is positive, the beaten-down stock could soar once again. 

Further down the road, Alnylam expects to produce a steady stream of data for candidates in earlier stages of development. Sanofi has picked up its hemophilia candidate, fitusiran, and the partners expect to start a late-stage trial early this year. Alnylam also has a cholesterol-lowering drug under development in partnership with The Medicines Company called inclisiran, which should enter a late-stage trial around the middle of the year.

Alnylam finished 2016 with about $1.1 billion in cash, which could be enough to see it through another couple of years before it needs to raise more capital. All eyes will be on patisiran later this year.

Cory Renauer has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.