Alnylam Appoints Tolga Tanguler Chief Commercial Officer and Also Announces New CEMEA, Medical Affairs, and Compliance Leaders

December 21, 2020 Off By BusinessWire

– Strong Commercial and Medical Team in Place to Execute on Three Ongoing Global Launches and Advancement of Innovative Pipeline of RNAi Therapeutics –

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), the leading RNAi therapeutics company, today announced the appointment of Tolga Tanguler to the role of Chief Commercial Officer where he will lead global marketing, sales, market access, commercial operations, training, new product commercialization and commercial strategy for the Company. Tolga will also join the Company’s Management Board. In addition, Alnylam has recruited an experienced team of leaders across key functions, including: Kasha Witkos, Senior Vice President and Head of Canada, Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA); Salil Patel, Senior Vice President and Head of Medical Affairs; and Agnieszka Gallagher, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer.

“After an in-depth and comprehensive search, we have selected Tolga Tanguler, a dynamic and highly skilled commercial leader to join Alnylam. With over 20 years of global pharmaceutical and biotech experience, most recently at Pfizer and Alexion, Tolga’s considerable success commercializing multiple rare, specialty and common disease products positions him as an excellent choice for this key role,” said John Maraganore, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer at Alnylam. “With Tolga, Kasha, Salil and Aggie joining Alnylam, we have now rounded out our world-class leadership team across our commercial, medical and compliance expertise areas. Together, these outstanding leaders stand poised to support the ongoing global launches of our three marketed products and promising pipeline of innovative medicines addressing a range of patient needs, while we continue on our path towards profitability.”

Tolga Tanguler, Chief Commercial Officer

Tolga Tanguler has a strong track record of success in the global pharmaceutical and biotech industries, building out commercial capabilities, leading highly functioning teams, and cultivating robust thought leader relationships across multiple specialties. He joins Alnylam from Alexion where he was Senior Vice President, Head of U.S. and launched three new products while building key functions and capabilities and driving over $3 billion in revenue with double digit growth in eight consecutive quarters. Prior to Alexion, he spent the majority of his career in progressively responsible roles at Pfizer. While at Pfizer he established their North America rare disease unit, leading nearly $1B business and launch preparation for tafamidis, as well as heading up the global Eliquis alliance with Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), and serving as a country manager of Denmark and Iceland. (Read more…) Tolga has lived in four countries and conducted business on five continents.

Tolga will join Alnylam on January 5, 2021.

Tolga holds an MBA in Marketing and Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University, as well as a post graduate certificate in Marketing from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics from Istanbul University, Turkey.

“This is a very exciting time at Alnylam, a company with an amazing portfolio of marketed products and investigational programs driven by an organic product engine for sustainable innovation, coupled with a strong track record of commercial execution evidenced to date,” said Tolga Tanguler. “I look forward to bringing my experience and passion to a leading company like Alnylam with its commitment to transform the treatment of many diseases and its sights on becoming a top-five biotech company. I look forward to working with a broad range of teams and functions to drive global commercial execution and top-line growth, while Alnylam continues to advance a robust clinical development pipeline of breakthrough medicines.”

Kasha Witkos, SVP, Head of CEMEA

Kasha has over 23 years of broad international experience in the pharmaceutical industry working across four continents (Europe, Middle East and Africa, North America and Asia Pacific), covering various healthcare systems and market archetypes from emerging to mature markets. Her experience includes P&L responsibilities, sales and marketing, patient programs and all commercial channels.

Kasha joins Alnylam from Takeda and its legacy organizations (Baxter, Baxalta, Shire), where she held several commercial roles in rare diseases on Country, Regional and Global levels. She was a Cluster GM and then a Region Head EMEA for Immunology in Baxalta and Shire as well as a Global Rare Immunology Franchise Head at Takeda, leading a $5B portfolio. Prior to joining Takeda and its legacy organizations, Kasha spent 10 years with Merck/MSD in the United States, Singapore and Thailand, where she held various positions of increasing commercial responsibility.

Kasha started her medical education at Medical Academy of Wroclaw, Poland before transferring to the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA, where she completed her degree in genetics. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Kasha conducted basic medical research at the University of Colorado – Boulder and the Northwestern University Medical School – Chicago.

Salil Patel, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Head of Medical Affairs

Salil brings a wealth of experience in global Medical Affairs, working with cross-functional teams in Commercial, Market Access as well as R&D. He joins us from BMS where he held various roles leading medical strategy for their Oncology and Immunoscience assets. Salil served as Head of Medical for the Oncology business of BMS, supporting the launch of Opdivo in several indications for major markets globally. One of his key accomplishments in this role was to form the Global Expert Centers Initiative – a collaborative network with 21 European leading academic institutes. He was also Head of Precision Medicine, where he worked with R&D and Commercial to implement into practice disease-related biomarkers in oncology.

Salil received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Southampton, UK and had significant post-doctoral experience in Molecular Biology from Caltech and Immunology from Stanford University.

Agnieszka Gallagher (Aggie), Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer

Agnieszka (Aggie) Gallagher joined Alnylam in June 2020 as Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer. Prior to Alnylam, Aggie was at ViiV Healthcare, a highly successful joint venture amongst GSK, Pfizer and Shionogi, focused on HIV, where Aggie served as General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary since 2017. Prior to ViiV, Aggie served in various legal and compliance roles at GSK, Sandoz, Medtronic and Pfizer, with responsibilities during different chapters of her career in every region of the world, including US, CEMEA, Asia and LATAM and across different sectors of the pharmaceutical industry, including innovative pharma, biosimilars and complex generics, vaccines and medical devices. Aggie began her legal career at White & Case in New York and Warsaw after receiving her law degree and undergraduate degree from Rutgers University.

About RNAi

RNAi (RNA interference) is a natural cellular process of gene silencing that represents one of the most promising and rapidly advancing frontiers in biology and drug development today. Its discovery has been heralded as “a major scientific breakthrough that happens once every decade or so,” and was recognized with the award of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. By harnessing the natural biological process of RNAi occurring in our cells, a new class of medicines, known as RNAi therapeutics, is now a reality. Small interfering RNA (siRNA), the molecules that mediate RNAi and comprise Alnylam’s RNAi therapeutic platform, function upstream of today’s medicines by potently silencing messenger RNA (mRNA) – the genetic precursors – that encode for disease-causing or disease pathway proteins, thus preventing them from being made. This is a revolutionary approach with the potential to transform the care of patients with genetic and other diseases.

About Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

Alnylam (Nasdaq: ALNY) is leading the translation of RNA interference (RNAi) into a whole new class of innovative medicines with the potential to transform the lives of people afflicted with rare genetic, cardio-metabolic, hepatic infectious, and central nervous system (CNS)/ocular diseases. Based on Nobel Prize-winning science, RNAi therapeutics represent a powerful, clinically validated approach for the treatment of a wide range of severe and debilitating diseases. Founded in 2002, Alnylam is delivering on a bold vision to turn scientific possibility into reality, with a robust RNAi therapeutics platform. Alnylam’s commercial RNAi therapeutic products are ONPATTRO® (patisiran), GIVLAARI® (givosiran), and OXLUMO™ (lumasiran). Alnylam has a deep pipeline of investigational medicines, including six product candidates that are in late-stage development. Alnylam has executed on and believes it has now exceeded its “Alnylam 2020” strategy of building a multi-product, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company with a sustainable pipeline of RNAi-based medicines to address the needs of patients who have limited or inadequate treatment options. Alnylam is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. For more information about our people, science and pipeline, please visit and engage with us on Twitter at @Alnylam or on LinkedIn.

Alnylam Forward Looking Statements

Various statements in this release concerning Alnylam’s future expectations, plans and prospects, including, without limitation, the potential for RNAi therapeutics, aspirations to develop transformational or breakthrough medicines, advance an innovative pipeline of investigational therapeutics, achieve revenue growth, and become a profitable top five biotechnology company, and its belief that it has exceeded its “Alnylam 2020” guidance for the advancement and commercialization of RNAi therapeutics, constitute forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results and future plans may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important risks, uncertainties and other factors, including, without limitation: the direct or indirect impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic or any future pandemic, such as the scope and duration of the outbreak, government actions and restrictive measures implemented in response, material delays in diagnoses of rare diseases, initiation or continuation of treatment for diseases addressed by Alnylam products, or in patient enrollment in clinical trials, potential supply chain disruptions, and other potential impacts to Alnylam’s business, the effectiveness or timeliness of steps taken by Alnylam to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, and Alnylam’s ability to execute business continuity plans to address disruptions caused by the COVID-19 or any future pandemic; Alnylam’s ability to discover and develop novel drug candidates and delivery approaches and successfully demonstrate the efficacy and safety of its product candidates; the pre-clinical and clinical results for its product candidates, which may not be replicated or continue to occur in other subjects or in additional studies or otherwise support further development of product candidates for a specified indication or at all; actions or advice of regulatory agencies, which may affect the design, initiation, timing, continuation and/or progress of clinical trials or result in the need for additional pre-clinical and/or clinical testing; delays, interruptions or failures in the manufacture and supply of its product candidates or its or its partner Novartis’ marketed products, including ONPATTRO, GIVLAARI, OXLUMO and Leqvio; obtaining, maintaining and protecting intellectual property; intellectual property matters including potential patent litigation relating to its platform, products or product candidates; obtaining regulatory approval for its product candidates, and maintaining regulatory approval and obtaining pricing and reimbursement for its products, including ONPATTRO, GIVLAARI, and OXLUMO; progress in continuing to establish an ex-United States infrastructure; successfully launching, marketing and selling its approved products globally, including ONPATTRO, GIVLAARI, and OXLUMO, and achieving net product revenues for ONPATTRO within its revised expected range during 2020; Alnylam’s ability to successfully expand the indication for ONPATTRO in the future; competition from others using technology similar to Alnylam’s and others developing products for similar uses; Alnylam’s ability to manage its growth and operating expenses within the ranges of guidance provided by Alnylam through the implementation of further discipline in operations to moderate spend and its ability to achieve a self-sustainable financial profile in the future without the need for future equity financing; Alnylam’s ability to establish and maintain strategic business alliances and new business initiatives; Alnylam’s dependence on third parties, including Novartis for the continued development and commercialization of Leqvio, Regeneron for development, manufacture and distribution of certain products, including eye and CNS products, and Vir for the development of ALN-COV and other potential RNAi therapeutics targeting SARS-CoV-2 and host factors for SARS-CoV-2; the outcome of litigation; the risk of government investigations; and unexpected expenditures; as well as those risks more fully discussed in the “Risk Factors” filed with Alnylam’s most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and in other filings that Alnylam makes with the SEC. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent Alnylam’s views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Alnylam explicitly disclaims any obligation, except to the extent required by law, to update any forward-looking statements.


Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Christine Regan Lindenboom
(Investors and Media)

Joshua Brodsky