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Silence Therapeutics agrees major collaboration with US firm Mallinckrodt

Silence said the collaboration has the potential to bring in up to US$2bn in clinical, regulatory and commercial payments for its assets

Mallinckrodt will take a 6.5% stake in Silence for US$5mln

Silence Therapeutics PLC (LON:SLN) has agreed a partnership with US biopharmaceutical firm Mallinckrodt PLC (NYSE: MNK) to develop and commercialise gene silencing treatments for serious diseases.

Mallinckrodt will obtain an exclusive worldwide license to Silence's SLN500 asset, which uses RNA interference – therapeutics designed to inhibit or “silence” a group of proteins in the immune system that play a role in the development of inflammation, contributing to many diseases.

Silence will be responsible for taking SLN500 through pre-clinical studies and a phase I trial. After that, Mallinckrodt will take over clinical development and responsibility for global commercialisation.

Under the deal, there will be options to license up to two additional complement-targeted assets in Silence's preclinical complement-directed RNAi development program.

Silence to receive intial US$20mln and further milestone payments

Mallinckrodt will provide Silence with an upfront payment of US$20mln.

Silence said the collaboration has the potential to bring in up to US$100mln in clinical and regulatory milestone payments for SLN500 on top of commercial milestone payments of up to US$563mln for the asset.

Silence will receive up to US$10mln in research milestones for SLN500 and for each optioned asset in addition to funding for Phase 1 clinical development including manufacturing.

READ: Silence Therapeutics given access to genetic database in its bid to find new breakthrough treatments

If Mallinckrodt opts to license one or two additional assets, Silence could receive up to US$703mln in similar clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments per asset. 

Silence said it would also receive tiered, “low double-digit to high-teen” royalties on net sales for SLN500 and each optioned asset.

"This collaboration combines Silence Therapeutics' knowledge and world-class research and development in the field of RNAi with Mallinckrodt's expertise and resources as a global biopharmaceutical company with years of experience solving complex challenges," said Dr. David Horn Solomon, president and chief executive of Silence.

"The increasing number of clinical conditions and pathologies that involve the complement system has generated significant interest in the development of therapeutic options to inhibit complement activation, which holds great promise in treating a range of diseases.

“We look forward to working closely with Mallinckrodt to extend our capabilities with RNAi therapies that have the potential to transform patients' lives."  

Mallinckrodt to take US$5mln equity stake in Silence 

In a separate statement the companies announced that Mallinckrodt will take a 6.5% stake in Silence for US$5mln.

Mallinckrodt has subscribed for more than 5mln new ordinary shares at an issue price of 79p per share, representing a 10% premium to Silence's 20-day, volume-weighted average price.

Steven Romano, Mallinckrodt’s executive vice president and chief scientific officer., will take a non-executive director seat on the Silence’s board.

Shares soared 60% on the back of the news to 133.6p.

--Updates for additional info and share price--

Quick facts: Silence Therapeutics PLC

Price: 437 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £361.95 m

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