The first-ever drug based on the gene-silencing technique known as RNA interference had an underwhelming first quarter of sales — but the company that brought it to market is encouraging investors to withhold judgement.

Alnylam (ALNY) said Wednesday that the drug, Onpattro, brought in less than $500,000 during the third quarter. The company has a steep hill to climb if it is to eventually become a $1 billion blockbuster, as analysts have widely suggested it might someday.

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