Alnylam participants gather for a group photo at the 2011 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Boston.
Alnylam enters 6th Corporate Challenge
with strong support from management
BOSTON, July 5, 2012 — At next week's 29th annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge, the 629 teams comprising the sold-out crowd at Boston Common will include Alnylam, a biotech company whose squad will be led by several senior managers, including President and Chief Operating Officer Barry Greene.
"We're all excited to be a part of it," said Greene.
His support, and that of other senior personnel who also are participating, including Dr. Muthiah (Mano) Manoharan, Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery, and Michael Mason, Vice President Finance/Treasurer, reflects solid upper management backing not only for what the Corporate Challenge can do for the camaraderie and fitness of Alnylam's employees, but also for worthwhile causes.
"Not only is this event a great team-building activity from a company perspective, but it's a valuable opportunity to support worthy charities," said Greene.
"This is the sixth year Alnylam is participating and the first time we're running in support of a rare, fatal condition called TTR Amyloidosis," he added. "This goes hand in hand with Alnylam's passion to help people in need, whether that's through developing innovative medicines for rare diseases or participating in local events like this."
In addition to the company's specific disease-related cause, all Alnylam's runners — as well as the rest of the 13,000 participants in the sold-out race — will be supporting two local beneficiaries. For the second year in a row, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and Horizons for Homeless Children will receive a donation from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, in honor of all Corporate Challenge participants.
With more than $1.3 million donated by the Foundation to beneficiaries in Series cities in 2011 and 2012, charitable giving is an important component of the Corporate Challenge Series. Alnylam, meanwhile, is focused on helping people through a new class of innovative medicines based on a breakthrough discovery in biology known as RNA interference, or RNAi. TTR Amyloidosis is one of the diseases for which Alnylam has shown promising results.
Alnylam will be one of 629 companies in the 2012 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge, which the Boston corporate community has supported with 18 consecutive sold-out races.
"Alnylam celebrated its 10-year anniversary in June, and we're thrilled to commemorate this milestone over the next year," said Greene. "Alnylam has come a long way in 10 years, from a small biotech startup to a product-focused biotechnology company."
So, on Thursday, July 12, 28 employees will don specially designed T-shirts and run or walk the 3.5-mile team road race.
"We'll host an informal post-race get together," said Greene, whose staff of scientists, research assistants, business specialists and others has formed a culture that seems to thrive in the cutting edge environment of an innovative, new frontier in medicine.
"Since its beginning in 2002, Alnylam has focused on harnessing the power of RNA interference (RNAi), a relatively new technology, to develop an entirely new class of innovative drugs for conditions with unmet medical needs," Green said.
Rena Denoncourt, a Program Manager at Alnylam who also will be running in the Corporate Challenge, echoes Green's comments.
"Everyone here is incredibly passionate about the work we do and sincerely believes in the promise of RNAi," she wrote on the company's website. "We are all committed to playing our part in the translation of this technology into real products."
But Alnylam — whose name is based on the constellation Orion's center star, which has a luminosity 250,000 times greater than the sun and represents the potential of RNAi therapeutics on human health — has a workforce that is hardly all about research.
"Health and fitness are a part of the Alnylam culture, but more importantly the focus is being involved locally," said Green. "We partake in various events throughout the year.For example, for the past several years, Alnylam has participated in Bio-Ball, a one day basketball tournament with 16 local biotech/pharma companies and 16 Special Olympics basketball teams. We also supported the New England Chapter's Walk for Hemophilia this year, as we are working to develop an RNAi-based treatment for this debilitating disease. These events are a great way for us to show our support in an active way."
As is the Corporate Challenge.
"This event is an ideal opportunity to interact with other local companies, and we certainly take full advantage of that," said Greene. "We take pride in being active members of the Boston community. And, we all could use more exercise."