Silence Therapeutics plc (AIM: SLN) (“Silence” or the “Company”) announces that the Company and AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) have agreed to a one-year extension of their ongoing small interfering RNA (siRNA) delivery collaboration. Under this collaboration, which was originally entered into in March 2008, the companies are leveraging a number of Silence’s proprietary lipid delivery and targeting technologies to develop new and enhanced delivery approaches for RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics. Financial details of the collaboration and its extension have not been disclosed.
Under terms of the agreement, both companies retain the right to commercialize the novel delivery solutions that emerge from the collaboration. This agreement is independent of the companies’ other ongoing collaboration which is focused on developing novel RNAi therapeutics against specific disease targets exclusive to AstraZeneca.
“AstraZeneca’s desire to extend this valuable collaboration offers important validation for the progress that our companies have already been able to make, as well as the fundamental siRNA delivery expertise that Silence possesses,” stated Philip Haworth, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Silence Therapeutics. “The safe and effective delivery of RNAi therapeutics remains one of the key challenges in this emerging space and we are excited to be working hand in hand with a partner of AstraZeneca’s stature to achieve this goal.”
The challenges of systemic siRNA delivery are well documented and include numerous biological barriers that limit RNAi therapeutics’ ability to reach targets safely and effectively. Successfully solving this delivery problem and enabling siRNA molecules to safely and effectively reach various tissue sites within the body is essential to realizing the vast therapeutic potential of RNAi.
Date: April 21, 2010
Source: Silence Therapeutics plc