01/04/2012 06:49 am ET Updated Mar 05, 2012

ALN-PCS, Experimental Treatment, Successfully Lowers Bad Cholesterol: Study

(Reuters) - Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc said an early-stage trial of its experimental cholesterol treatment showed the therapy reduced up to half the level of bad cholesterol in patients.

The main goal of the study was to test the safety and tolerability of a single dose of the treatment, ALN-PCS -- which works by targeting a specific gene that is associated with high levels of bad cholesterol.

ALN-PCS showed a statistically significant gene-silencing rate of 66 percent.

The drug was found to be safe and well tolerated, and there were no serious adverse events related to it, the company said in a statement.

Given the favorable safety profile and efficacy achieved, the company plans to continue the study with higher doses.

Additional results from the study are expected in the first half of this year.

Shares of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company closed at $8.66 on Tuesday on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Balaji Sridharan in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)