CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- Drug developer Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Wednesday named former Sanofi-Aventis executive John Schmidt as its chief scientific officer.
Schmidt was a vice president and U.S. member of the French drug maker's global discovery leadership team. He also previously worked at Merck & Co.'s research laboratories as senior director of immunology and rheumatology.
The company develops biopharmaceuticals using RNAi, or RNA interference, technology. Those drugs aim to shut down the protein at the root of disease or condition, "silencing" genes.
Alnylam also promoted Antonin de Fougerolles to vice president of the immunology, metabolic and viral disease unit. Susanna High was named vice president of business planning and program management and Dinah Sah was promoted to vice president of research of the central nervous system and cancer research division.
Victor Kotelianski was named senior vice president and a distinguished Alnylam fellow. He had been the company's vice president for research since 2003.
In morning trading, Alnylam shares declined 77 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $28.18.