We've been bringing you news of new products in the pipeline by pharmaceutical companies. But how about an amazing holiday gift-- that is not a product--from the employees at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals?
Don't recognize the name? You will. Alnylam is working on a revolutionary hemophilia product, called ALN-AT3, that would require a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection. It's still in clinical trials and we'll relate more about its progress in the coming months. Alnylam caught wind of Save One Life, the nonprofit I founded to help children with bleeding disorders in developing countries.
|Front row: Laurie Kelley (L), Irene Aquino, Martha|
Hopwell (R) and the Alnylam team
They surprised us with a idea. They hired a live auctioneer, held a big social event, and invited employees to come and bid on donated items. Alnylam received over 100 items donated by employees and local businesses in Cambridge, Massachusetts, their headquarters.
Hosted at La Laboratoire Cafe Art Science, it sounded like a wonderful time. In addition to those who attended the actual auction, hundreds of employees donated money. Some of the unique items donated included: dinners hosted by executives, weekend vacation homes, homemade baked goods, sports tickets, handcrafted items made by Alnylam employees.
One employee told me she sponsored a child as a Christmas gift for her boyfriend. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when people act for the common good.
Martha Hopewell, Save One Life’s executive director, and I had visited Alnylam to do a presentation on our work, early in December. The auction followed. I think the presentation hit home.
The total? Over $50,000! This is an astounding gift for Save One Life, as we operate with tight budgets. And the very best part is the majority will go to sponsor 20 children in poverty in several countries for five years.
This is a great model and inspiration for other pharmaceutical companies in the bleeding disorder business. And an inspiration to us. Thanks to everyone at Alnylam who donated. Your gift will make a direct difference in a child’s life for years to come. What better gift than that?