Right. The signaling by VEGF can be suppressed to stop the progression of AMD which is the main cause of blindness among elderly people. The same siRNA can be used to starve tumors by antiangiogenesis when systemic delivery becomes possible. Hepatitis C eradication, apoB gene silencing for lipid control. The list goes on.
My gut feeling is that it is more likely that ALNY will gobble up some big pharma for their sales force. It may take 10 years or more, but who could have thought 20 years ago that AMGN and DNA would be in the position as they are today.
Can you explain why ALNY would be interested in acquiring the legacy costs that burden big pharma, like a largely unproductive r & d force that knows nothing of RNAi, a management that led them there and a sales force trained to market a fundamentally different approach to medicine they know nothing about? Not to mention the dieing product revenues as their Orange Book exclusivity periods expire followed by their patents while their product liabilitiy costs remain in place, what would possess them to do that?
To answer this question all you need do is look at the most recent trades of Phillip A Sharp which I cut and paste below. Notice that he is selling his shares in Biogen, a little pharma company which he founded --- perhaps you heard of it? And he is a net buyer of Alnylam which I think he might have had a hand in starting (tongue in cheek). Plans to cash in his shares are NOT in the offing IMO. I would be more afraid that he would try to take us private.
3-Jun-04 31,578 ALNY Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share.
14-May-04 294,100 BIIB Sale at $58.4095 - $59.1169 per share. (Proceeds of about $17,282,000)
It could end up a bit like Roche and DNA. While there is not an outright 100% purchase and you can still buy and trade in DNA, its clear Roche Holdings owns the company but by buying DNA you have Roche as a major shareholder/partner. If you look at what Roche paid for their approx 50% holding (about 2B I think) you can see with DNA they did rather well :)
This "could" I emphasize "could" happen to ALNY. My feeling is the management and investors in ALNY know what they potentially have here. The potential is so great I really don't see any type of buyout happening for years if at all.