LONDON, November 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Silence Therapeutics plc (AIM: SLN) ("Silence" or the "Company"), a leading RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics company, today provides an update on recent business and clinical developments.
Expansion of business development team
Silence today announces the appointment of Dr Georg Buchner as VP Business Development. Georg will work with Tony Sedgwick who was appointed as Silence's Chief Business Officer in September as part of the Company's strategy to continue to broaden its collaborations with global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Georg was formerly VP of Corporate & Business Development at Novacta Biosystems Ltd. Prior to joining Novacta, Georg was Business Development Director at Haptogen Ltd and was instrumental in the sale of the business to Wyeth (now part of Pfizer) in 2007. Georg gained a PhD in Molecular Genetics from King's College London and an MBA from The University of Cambridge's Judge Institute of Management.
Atu027 trial update
Results from the ongoing Phase I trial of Atu027, Silence's lead siRNA development programme for the treatment of advanced solid cancer, now confirm that 10 out of 27 (37%) patients treated to date have shown stable disease after the treatment phase of the trial. Dosing of the first patient in cohort 10 of the 11 cohort trial has now commenced and the trial is on track to complete recruitment in early 2012 with results reported by mid-2012. Atu027 incorporates AtuPLEX™, Silence's proprietary delivery technology that transports RNAi molecules to the target site with high specificity.
Atu134 development update
Following further encouraging data generated from the ongoing Phase I trial of Atu027 and additional data from preclinical models of Atu134, Silence has concluded that the potential clinical profiles of Atu027 and Atu134 are too similar to warrant further development of both programmes. The Company has therefore decided to divert the research resources for Atu134 to more promising areas of its RNAi delivery technologies. Consequently Silence is evaluating a number of other development opportunities for potential targets in the liver that could be inhibited by using Silence's novel liver-focused DBTC RNAi delivery system in order to identify the most suitable replacement candidate for progression.
Thomas Christély, Chief Executive Officer of Silence Therapeutics, said: "We are pleased to welcome Dr Georg Buchner to Silence. Georg has a strong track record in business development and his experience will strengthen our growing business development team as we seek to expand our increasing list of corporate partnerships. The results from the ongoing Atu027 trial continue to validate Silence's development capabilities and the safety of our innovative AtuPLEX™ RNAi delivery system. We also look forward to exploring the full capabilities of our novel DBTC liver delivery system for which Silence is experiencing increasing interest from the pharma and biotech industry."
Notes for editors
About Silence Therapeutics plc (http://www.silence-therapeutics.com)
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 endo-thelium 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.
This press release includes forward-looking statements that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors. These risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Silence Therapeutics and Silence Therapeutics assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.
For further information, please contact:
Thomas Christély/Max Herrmann
Singer Capital Markets
Shaun Dobson/Claes Spång
Peter Laing / Emma Thompson
+44-20-7920-2345 / +44-20-7920-2342
Vida Communication (US)
Tim Brons (media)/Stephanie Diaz (investors)
SOURCE Silence Therapeutics Plc