Alnylam Renews Partnership with Nucleate to Support Young Biotech Entrepreneurs

3 min readApr 7, 2023


Nucleate, the nonprofit organization led by academic trainees and dedicated to empowering future biotech leaders, today announced the renewal of its partnership with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.

Entrepreneurs entering the biotech industry can find it tough to break into, limiting innovation in disease treatment. Nucleate aims to solve this problem by providing access and mentoring to promising biotech leaders. Alnylam, a biotech company, will support Nucleate’s efforts by lending their industry expertise.

Alnylam got its start in 2002 by leaning on the exceptional networks of its biotech veteran founders, including its CEO John Maraganore and scientific founders, Nobel Laureates Phil Sharp and Paul Schimmel. It has subsequently pioneered a new class of therapeutics based on RNAi (RNA interference). Building on this history, Alnylam is committed to supporting Nucleate as it works to remove barriers faced by a new generation of leaders that are delivering promising new ideas in biotech.

“We are delighted to renew our partnership with Nucleate as they champion a new generation of leaders focused on scientific discovery. Through our support, we will work together to remove barriers facing entrepreneurs in the biotech ecosystem and look forward to rewarding innovation through our 2nd annual Alnylam BioVenture Challenge.”

— Akshay Vaishnaw, MD, President of Alnylam

The partnership includes collaborating and expanding the Alnylam BioVenture Challenge with teams vying for the John Maraganore Science Entrepreneurship Award, named for Alnylam’s former and founding CEO. Judges from Alnylam will rigorously analyze and question the teams, and after difficult deliberations, will award the top prize for a company tackling a frontier challenge of disease.

“Alnylam’s support of Nucleate has been nothing short of foundational. For our founders, Alnylam serves as a shining example of what is possible in the life science industry. Our collaboration with Alnylam to produce the BioVenture challenge represents a transformative opportunity for young life science entrepreneurs to take their companies forward.”

— Zach Cogan, EVP Partnerships of Nucleate

The partnership will also support the annual Nucleate Summit, global expansion, and growth in programming. Alnylam encourages industry peers to support Nucleate, whose equity-free and open model is bringing forward new biotech enterprises and fostering the next generation of biotech leaders. This new generation will bring exceptional science and leaders and champion health equity and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

About Nucleate

Nucleate is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the next generation of biotech leaders. With chapters spanning 23 geographic regions and participation from over 120 academic institutions, Nucleate sparks new intellectual communities and embeds emerging talent within a global biotech community. Through open-access educational programming, Nucleate helps democratize biotech innovation — removing barriers and helping founders concentrate on building transformational technologies. Visit for more information.

About Alnylam

Alnylam has led the translation of RNAi (RNA interference) from Nobel Prize-winning discovery into an innovative, entirely new class of medicines. Founded in 2002 by a team of distinguished life sciences leaders, Alnylam’s vision is to harness the potential of RNAi therapeutics to transform the lives of people living with diseases for which there are limited or inadequate treatment options. Our pioneering work has delivered the world’s first and only approved RNAi therapeutics — ONPATTRO® (patisiran) in 2018, GIVLAARI® (givosiran) in 2019, OXLUMO® (lumasiran) in 2020, and AMVUTTRA® (vutrisiran) in 2022. We are advancing a deep pipeline of innovative RNAi-based medicines in four therapeutic areas: genetic medicines, cardio-metabolic diseases, infectious diseases, and central nervous system (CNS) and ocular diseases.