Creating a New Class of Medicines: John Maraganore on The Long Run

Today’s guest on The Long Run is John Maraganore.

John Maraganore

John is best known as the former CEO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, the RNA interference drug developer. He spent 19 years there as CEO, before stepping down at the end of 2021. Alnylam figured out how to make a new therapeutic modality — gene-silencing with double-stranded oligonucleotide therapies.

Alnylam’s technology has now been translated into five marketed medicines. The company has more than 2,000 employees, and a market value that exceeds $26 billion.

Since leaving Alnylam, John has taken on a sort of senior statesman role in biotech – wired in with investors such as Arch Venture Partners, Atlas Venture, RTW Investments and Blackstone. He serves on a variety of public company boards, such as Agios Pharmaceuticals, Beam Therapeutics, Kymera Therapeutics and Takeda Pharmaceuticals. He advises a number of young scientific entrepreneurs. He seems to be everywhere there’s some cool translational science work to be done. I joke with him that he’s the Dos Equis Man of biotech – the beer commercial that features the supposedly most interesting man in the world.

This conversation was recorded live in Seattle on Apr. 25 in front of an audience at the Life Science Innovation Northwest conference. We talk about John’s early life, key early career experiences, a few major events at Alnylam, and a bit of his views on science and policy.

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Now, please join me and John Maraganore on The Long Run.

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