With patisiran launch in its sights, Alnylam plots a major hiring spree

Alnylam’s first drug approval could come any day now, and in preparation, the company is bulking up—in more ways than one.

The RNAi-focused biotech is going on a hiring spree that will double its roster by 2020, the Boston Business Journal reports. Its staff, which grew from 750 to 800 over the past three months, is set to expand to 1,500 workers by the end of 2020.

More employees means a need for more office space, which is already in the works, too. It’s grabbed two more spaces in Cambridge, Massachusetts, biotech hotspot Kendall Square in addition to the 295,000-square-foot headquarters it’s constructing for an early 2019 move-in.

RELATED: Alnylam builds out case for patisiran, showing sharp drop in hospitalization, mortality

Alnylam is gearing up for what it hopes will be a positive decision on patisiran, a treatment for rare abnormal protein condition hereditary ATTR amyloidosis. The FDA is set to hand down a verdict on the drug by Aug. 11, and if Alnylam can snag an approval, it’ll mark the first for the company in its 16-year history. It’ll so kick off a launch that industry watchers think could generate $1 billion per year by 2023.

RELATED: With patisiran FDA nod imminent, Alnylam preps CNS pipeline for the clinic

But the patisiran rollout wasn’t the only one the company had in mind when it laid out its expansion plans. Four of Alnylam’s pipeline prospects that share patisiran’s RNAi tech are either in or on their way into phase 3 trials, which means the company could see one new launch per year through 2022, a spokeswoman told the BBJ.