Silence Therapeutics Appointment of Chief Medical Adviser

Sep 18, 2012, 02:02 ET from Silence Therapeutics Plc

LONDON, September 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Silence Therapeutics plc (AIM: SLN), a leading global RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics company, today announces the appointment of Michael Khan to its board of directors as Chief Medical Adviser.

Dr Michael Khan BSc, MBBS, PhD, FRCP is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Warwick and a Consultant Physician at University Hospitals. He trained in medicine at Guy's and King's in London and completed specialist training at University College London, Middlesex and Whittington Hospitals. He studied for his PhD at UCL.

He is a highly cited researcher and experienced clinician with a long track record in metabolic medicine and cancer biology research as well as in the running of clinical trials. He has written several books on diabetes, cholesterol problems and cancer biology and teaches postgraduates and undergraduates in medicine and biological sciences in these areas.

He is a previous Head of Molecular Medicine at Warwick University and has held numerous research grants in cell and molecular biology. He and co-workers have made important contributions to further understanding of cancer cell biology and diabetes and are working on identifying novel tissue-based biomarkers for colorectal cancer and the development of novel diagnostic tools. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and a member of the Association of Physicians, HEART-UK and Diabetes UK and has acted as an expert advisor to numerous National and International Organisations in both the public and private sectors.

No further disclosures are required under Rule 17 and Schedule 2(g) of the AIM Rules.  

Commenting on his appointment, Dr Khan said:

"I am convinced of the potential of siRNA-based therapeutics and will serve to bridge the gap between basic and translational clinical research with the express aim of delivering essential and urgently needed new therapies for orphan diseases and those not well-served by currently available treatments. I believe that Silence Therapeutics core technologies are uniquely positioned to fulfil these needs."

Commenting on the appointment, Klaus Giese, CSO of Silence said:

"This is a highly important appointment and I am delighted that Michael has agreed to join the Board of Silence Therapeutics.  Michael's medical, clinical and regulatory experience will be invaluable as we look to commercialise our prospects."

Notes for editors

About Silence Therapeutics plc (

Silence Therapeutics plc (AIM: SLN) is a leading biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery, development and delivery of targeted, systemic RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics for the treatment of serious diseases. Silence offers one of the most comprehensive short interfering RNA (siRNA) therapeutic platforms available today based on a strong intellectual property portfolio and large clinical safety database. Silence's clinical siRNA product pipeline is one of the broadest in the industry. The Company possesses multiple proprietary siRNA delivery technology platforms including AtuPLEX™, DACC and DBTC. AtuPLEX enables the broad functional delivery of siRNA molecules to targeted diseased tissues and cells, while increasing their bioavailability and intracellular uptake. The DACC delivery system allows functional delivery of siRNA molecules selectively to the lung endothelium with a long duration of target mRNA and protein knock-down. The DBTC delivery system enables functional delivery of siRNA molecules selectively to liver cells including hepatocytes. Additionally, the Company has a platform of novel siRNA molecules based around its AtuRNAi chemical modification technology, which provides a number of advantages over conventional siRNA molecules. Silence's unique RNAi assets also include structural features for RNAi molecules and specific design rules for increased potency and reduced off-target effects of siRNA sequences.

The Company's lead internal drug candidate is Atu027, a liposomal formulation in clinical development for systemic cancer indications and one of the most clinically advanced RNAi therapeutic candidates in the area of oncology. Atu027 incorporates two of the Company's technologies, AtuRNAi and AtuPLEX. Silence is currently conducting an open-label, single-centre, dose-escalation Phase I study with Atu027 in patients with advanced solid tumors involving single, as well as repeated, intravenous administration. Encouraging interim safety and pharmacokinetic data were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in June 2011. The study is expected to be completed in the first half of 2012.

The Company's RNAi therapeutic platform has received key validation through multiple partnerships with pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca, Dainippon Sumitomo, Pfizer/Quark, and Novartis/Quark. Silence is actively pursuing the establishment of additional partnerships. Silence Therapeutics has operations in both Berlin and London.

Silence Therapeutics
Ali Mortazavi +44(0)7768-694739 / Jerry Randall +44(0)7990-502000
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SOURCE Silence Therapeutics Plc