When Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. decided to find an Asian partner for its lead "5x15" RNAi program, Sanofi's Genzyme Corp. unit emerged as the best option due to its Orphan network in Japan and Sanofi's commitment in other emerging Asian markets.

Alnylam launched its 5x15 initiative in January 2011 with the goal of moving five internal RNAi programs into clinical development for genetically defined diseases by 2015.