Alnylam looks at building $100M plant outside Cambridge

Norton, MA, has agreed to provide a $7 million tax break for Alnylam to build its first manufacturing facility in the small community, but the biotech says it is not sure it will act on that offer.

The Norton town council signed off on the 13-year tax incentive if Alnylam ($ALNY) will put a proposed $100 million plant in Norton, which is about 40 miles south of Alnylam headquarters in Cambridge, The Sun Chronicle reports. The company has indicated it intends to build a 165,000- to 200,000-square-foot facility that eventually would employ up to 220 workers.

But Alnylam told the publication last week that it has yet to close a deal for the property where the plant would be build in Norton and that it is continuing to consider other locations.

"As we prepare for product commercialization, Alnylam is exploring locations for a commercial manufacturing facility," a spokesperson told the newspaper in a statement. "As a part of that search, the company has negotiated a (tax break) with the Town of Norton. There are, however, other key milestones that must be met in order to move the project forward in Norton, including securing the property from the current owner," the statement said. "It is important to note that no final decision has been reached in this matter, other locations are still being considered, and the company's headquarters will remain in Cambridge."

The company is working on a number of products that would target disease through RNA interference, which would silence disease-causing genes by interfering with the body's natural messaging systems. Sanofi ($SNY) paid $700 million for a 12% stake in the company in 2014.

- read the Sun Chronicle story