On December 12, we hosted an R&D Day in New York City. Alnylam management and key opinion leaders discussed the latest progress as well as plans for the future development of our RNAi therapeutics pipeline. At this event, we announced our pipeline growth strategy for development and commercialization of RNAi therapeutics across three Strategic Therapeutic Areas (STArs): Genetic Medicines, Cardio-metabolic Disease, and Hepatic Infectious Disease.
Hepatitis D Virus
HDV is an RNA virus that infects hepatocytes and depends on a co-existing HBV infection to produce the envelope particle which holds its genome.
HDV can be acquired at the same time or subsequent to infection with HBV, and is believed to infect between 15 and 20 million people worldwide. Chronic HDV infection results in more severe liver disease as compared to HBV infection alone, with higher risks of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Many chronic HDV patients progress to end-stage liver disease, where liver transplant is the only available treatment.
ALN-HDV for the Treatment of HDV Infection
Chronic Liver Infection
PD-L1 is a cell surface protein that is believed to play a major role in suppressing the immune system in cancer and infection.
HBV and HCV infection of hepatocytes is known to lead to increased PD-L1 expression which could subdue the immune response against the virus. Further, monoclonal antibodies targeting PD-L1 and its T-cell ligand PD-1 have shown anti-viral effects in pre-clinical and early clinical studies, but are also associated with systemic toxicities.