Alnylam halts drug's development after patient deaths in study

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals will stop developing an experimental drug after a late-stage study showed patients given the treatment were more likely to die than those given a placebo, reports Reuters.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based drugmaker was developing revusiran for the treatment of hereditary amyloidosis with cardiomyopathy — a rare condition in which amyloid plaque collects in the organs and can cause heart failure, according to the report.

The company decided to suspend a Phase III trial of the drug after unblinded data from a previous trial "revealed an imbalance of mortality in the revusiran arm as compared to placebo," according to a company statement.

Upon news of the halted drug development, Alnylam's shares dropped more than 40 percent to $40.96 in post-market trading after closing at $70.30 on Wednesday.

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