Merck this week announced a broad restructuring that will include the elimination of roughly 8,500 jobs and a reduction in the company's annual operating expenses by $2.5 billion by the end of 2015.

Notably, the move will also include a reduction in Merck's focus on platform technologies, of which RNAi is one, raising questions about the future of the gene-silencing technology at one of the few remaining big pharmas that continues to embrace it.

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