Alnylam joins the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre

Alnylam joins the third Grand Challenge (GC3) consortium to help overcome barriers to the manufacture of oligonucleotides.

Glowing RNA strand

The partners of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre have welcomed global biopharmaceutical company Alnylam to the collaboration. Alnylam joins the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC)’s third Grand Challenge (GC3) consortium of industry leaders, which aims to overcome barriers to the scalable, affordable and sustainable manufacture of oligonucleotides. 

The oligonucleotide therapeutics market is projected to be worth $7.23 billion by 2024. However, it is difficult to produce oligonucleotides easily, cheaply and at scale using current technologies. This poses a challenge to making these life-changing therapies available to everyone who needs them.

GC3 brings together oligonucleotide therapy industry leaders to improve manufacturing processes to combat the biggest barriers to scaling up production. Alnylam is a US based company who have been industry leaders in RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics since founding in 2002 and hold a broad portfolio of oligonucleotide therapies on the market and in development for genetic medicines, cardio-metabolic diseases, central nervous system (CNS)/​ocular diseases and infectious diseases.

Alnylam joins the consortium at an exciting time. GC3 has already met its first key milestones: successfully completing the baseline synthesis of the two target oligonucleotides and making gram quantities of the example molecules using Exactmer’s Nanostar Sieving technology. The consortium is also planning to develop two promising enzymatic approaches and to generate multi-kilogram amounts of oligonucleotide products using these new technologies.

We are very excited to be joining MMIC’s third Grand Challenge project and collaborating with [the Centre for Process Innovation] CPI, Novartis, Exactmer and AstraZeneca. Solid phase synthesis of oligonucleotides has been incredibly successful at enabling the commercialisation our small interfering RNA (siRNA) products,” stated Al Boyle, Chief Technical Operations and Quality Officer at Alnylam. “The goal of this Grand Challenge, to revolutionise the manufacturing process for oligonucleotide therapies, is critically important for the future of medicine. The success of this Grand Challenge will help enable innovators to advance the promise of oligonucleotide therapies to broader patient populations, allowing for sustainable production at larger scale and lower cost.”