When it recently reported first-quarter results, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
The drug, ALN-RSV01, is designed to treat respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, a common cause of respiratory ailments in children. RSV is a huge market, dominated by MedImmune
Alnylam also recently expanded its pipeline with another development program involving ALN-VSP01, an RNAi therapeutic for the treatment of liver cancers (and possibly other solid tumors). The company expects to file an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) with the FDA for this program in 2008, in addition to its goal of filing two INDs this year from its previous development pipeline. Alnylam also announced positive early-stage developments in treatments for high cholesterol and the hereditary neurological disorder Huntington's disease, which is currently untreatable.
Financially, Alnylam ended the first quarter with more than $200 million in cash and investments, after reporting a net loss of $21.6 million on revenues of $7.2 million. While Alnylam's RNAi pipeline is still in its early stages, investors should keep an eye on the stock; its cutting-edge technology and ample liquidity make it a prime takeover candidate. Last October, Merck
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Fool contributor Mike Havrilla, R.Ph., B.S., Pharm.D., is a Rite Aid pharmacist who lives, writes, works, and enjoys running on the streets and trails in the small Pennsylvania town of Portage. He invites your comments and feedback. Mike does not have a position in any company mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.