Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Tanked in January

By George Budwell - Feb 11, 2016 at 11:27AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Alnylam's shares couldn't escape the biotech bloodbath last month.

ALNY Chart

What: According to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, shares of the rare disease drugmaker Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY 2.27%) lost over a quarter of their value last month. The good news is that Alnylam's hefty monthly slide was apparently driven by the broader sell-off across the entire biotech landscape -- not a negative clinical or regulatory update.

So what: Alnylam's shares have been garnering a substantial premium based mainly on the prospects of its late-stage drug patisiran, indicated as a potential treatment for the fatal neurodegenerative disease Familial Amyloidotic Polyneuropathy, or FAP. Using Pfizer's EU-approved medicine Vyndaqel as a starting point, analysts think that patisiran could generate around $800 million in peak sales.

The problem is that patisiran probably won't see a regulatory filing until at least 2017, putting its commercial launch on track for perhaps 2018. Complicating matters further, Ionis Pharmaceuticals also has a late-stage candidate, IONIS-TTRRx, in development for FAP that's neck and neck with patisiran in terms of its clinical progress. 

Now what: Per the company's update at last month's J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference, the drugmaker should release over 10 clinical updates for its broad pipeline this year. Unfortunately, there won't be a single late-stage data readout among them. So, given the market's overtly negative view of risky developmental-stage biotechs of late and the company's lack of major clinical catalysts in the near-term, Alnylam may struggle to reverse this downward trend until a sea-shift in sentiment takes place. That's why investors may want to hold off on picking up shares in this promising RNAi drug specialist for the time being. 

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Stock Quote
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
$145.43 (2.27%) $3.23

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 06/29/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.