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Press Release

Silence Therapeutics Preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2017

Silence Therapeutics
Posted on: 06 Mar 18

Silence Therapeutics plc, AIM:SLN ("Silence" or "the Company") a leader in the discovery, delivery and development of novel RNA therapeutics for the treatment of serious diseases with unmet medical need, announces its unaudited preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2017. 


Silence Therapeutics’ international team is driving pipeline development of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics, a highly innovative, specific, new class of medicines with life-saving potential for patients with serious and rare diseases, creating value in tandem for our stakeholders.


Operational Highlights

  •          Generated and presented extensive, multi-faceted, pre-clinical data demonstrating clear proof of biologic mechanism and concept for Silence’s two lead programmes for iron overload disorders and alcohol use disorder, planned to be in clinical development within 18 months.
  •          Data highlights included key findings in animal disease models representative of iron overload disorders, increasing confidence in Silence’s lead candidate SLN124, planned to enter clinical development by the end of 2018.
  •          Recruited five high calibre individuals: Head of Intellectual Property, Chief Operating Officer, Head of Business Development and Licensing, Non-Executive Chair, and Head of Technology Innovation - all with leadership roles at both major global pharma and entrepreneurial biotechnology companies, as well as deep RNAi and oligonucleotide expertise.
  •          During 2017 Silence commenced UK litigation action against Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and The Medicines Company, who subsequently sought claims for revocation and declarations of non-infringement in respect of the patent in suit.  In November 2017 Silence counterclaimed for threatened infringement of the patent in suit.  It is likely that all issues between the parties will be heard at a trial beginning on, or around, 3 December 2018.


Financial Highlights

  •          Loss after tax of £1.6 million (2016: £8.4 million)
  •          Cash and cash equivalents of £42.7 million (2016: £39.0 million)
  •          Net cash outflow from operating activities £9.6 million (2016: £10.1 million)
  •          Realised gain on disposals of Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals shares £9.1 million (2016: £nil)
  •          Significantly bolstered balance sheet cash with sale of Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals shares with proceeds totalling $24.3 million.


Post Year-End Events

  •          New European patent (EP 1857547B) granted 17 January 2018 further protecting Silence’s key siRNA chemical modifications that read widely across the RNAi industry.
  •          Disposal of the final portion of Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals shares in January 2018 with cumulative proceeds totaling $24.7 million and a cash balance of £43 million as of 2 January 2018.


Ali Mortazavi, Chief Executive Officer of Silence Therapeutics, commented:

“2017 was a transformative and highly productive year for the Company. We believe Silence is well positioned to execute its strategy of transitioning into a drug development Company. We are also focused on securing strategic platform and pipeline deals in 2018 that validate our science and support the broadening of our pipeline and geographic footprint. We have established a rigorous target selection process to drive creation of a deep pre-clinical pipeline - crucial to the long-term business strategy of the Company.


“We are excited by the potential of RNAi based therapies using our world class GalNAc-siRNA technology as we progress our lead asset into clinical trials, taking one step closer to making our therapeutic products available to patients, and all the while creating value in tandem for our stakeholders. In parallel, our technology innovation team continues to advance our next generation GalNAc-siRNA platform, and we intend to introduce this innovative technology into new pipeline products later in 2018.  As Silence continues to adopt this growth strategy, and in order to continue to build value for our existing shareholders, the Company is currently exploring options to expand our international capital market presence, including the potential for a NASDAQ listing.”


Dr. Annalisa Jenkins, Non-Executive Chair of Silence Therapeutics, commented:

“I am genuinely excited about the current window of opportunity to advance our leading technology platform into the clinic in the coming year. I have been highly impressed by the quality of the science and, specifically, the deep expertise in RNAi and associated technologies. Our R&D operation in Berlin has over 15 years of oligonucleotide discovery research expertise in high throughput screening, in vivo pharmacology and CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control). This is combined with remarkable people, and a culture that is dedicated to developing innovative new therapeutic options to change the lives of patients with serious diseases. I have great confidence in our ability to be a leader in the next generation of RNAi medicines. I believe that the team we are building will deliver a globally competitive and successful RNAi platform and drug development Company.”


Click here to read the Full Preliminary Results Statement



Silence Therapeutics plc

Ali Mortazavi, Chief Executive Officer

David Ellam, Chief Financial Officer

Tel: +44 (0)20 3457 6900

Peel Hunt LLP (Nominated Adviser and Broker)

James Steel, Oliver Jackson


Tel: +44 (0)20 7418 8900

IR/Media Enquiries:

Optimum Strategic Communications

Mary Clark, Eva Haas, Hollie Vile


Tel: +44 (0)20 3714 1789

IR Enquires – US

Burns McClellan

John Grimaldi

Tel: +1 (212) 213-0006

Editor's Details

Mike Wood

Last updated on: 06/03/2018

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