Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2016

Alnylam: Building a Biotechnology Powerhouse

by Kevin Schulman

Abstract

Alnylam is an early stage biomedical technology focused on commercial development of a novel technology platform, siRNA. This technology offered promise to treat rare genetic disorders that could not be treated with other technologies. Alnlyam's development entailed the aggressive assembly of an intellectual property portfolio around their core platform technology, the development of a licensure strategy with large-cap pharmaceutical firms (which included the co-development of a delivery platform for their technology), and finally a clinical development strategy. The case illustrates the challenges of drug development based on novel scientific frameworks, as well as the promise of "personalized" medicine.

Keywords: Technological Innovation; Commercialization; Health Disorders; Intellectual Property; Biotechnology Industry;

Citation:

Schulman, Kevin. "Alnylam: Building a Biotechnology Powerhouse." Harvard Business School Case 316-113, June 2016.