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Silence Therapeutics cancer treatment shows early signs of efficacy

Silence Therapeutics’ lead drug candidate has shown early signs of efficacy when used in combination with traditional chemotherapy to treat people with terminal pancreatic cancer.

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Shares in Silence Therapeutics (LON:SLN) rose almost 25% after it said its lead drug candidate had shown early signs of efficacy.

The phase IIa study on 23 patients with terminal pancreatic cancer was carried out primarily to assess the safety of Atu027 and investigate what the body did to the compound.

The secondary objective was then to evaluate efficacy, including progression free survival.

The trial revealed Atu027 was generally well tolerated, although a patient in each of the two arms of the trial (higher dose and lower dose) did withdraw.

Looking at potential efficacy there was a marked difference between the two patient groups, with those on the higher dose achieving a median progression free survival of 5.33 months versus 1.81 months on the lower exposure.

Silence chief executive Ali Mortazavi: "Even allowing for the small number of patients in the trial, these results show a clear signal which requires further investigation.

“Atu027 has the potential to become a new therapeutic modality in oncology. This is an excellent outcome both in terms of Atu027 and validation of our RNA therapeutics platform.

“In light of this data, we are reviewing the protocol for the planned Phase Ib head and neck cancer study.”

Silence is a leader short-interfering RNA, or siRNA therapy, which in layman’s terms effectively helps silence rogue genes.

It also has a delivery platform that gets the treatment to its intended target.

"In addition to the clinical development of Atu027, Silence Therapeutics has a wide range of pre-clinical projects based on its ability to modulate gene expression both on and off. We look forward to the future with great confidence," Ali Mortazavi said.

By 12.30, the shares, up 41% in the year to date had added 59.06p to 296.56p.

Quick facts: Silence Therapeutics PLC

Price: 421 GBX

AIM:SLN
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £349.14 m
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on 12/6/18

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