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Alnylam Launches Screening Assistance Program for Genetic Diseases

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NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Alnylam Pharmaceuticals this week announced that it has launched a program called Alnylam Assist to provide free screening to patients with certain genetic diseases, namely the ones for which the company is developing treatments.

"As an initial effort under this program, we are sponsoring third party laboratory screening for people in the United States who are at a higher risk for carrying genetic mutations known to be associated with transthyretin-mediated familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy" (FAP), Pritesh Gandhi, vice president of medical affairs at Alnylam, said in a statement. "Screening is an important step as early diagnosis of this disease can assist patients in getting the help and support they need."

Alnylam is currently developing two drugs for transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis, including the Phase III compound patisiran, which is designed to treat FAP, and ALN-TTRsc, which is targeting another manifestation of the disease called familial amyloidotic cardiomyopathy.

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