Silence Therapeutics PLC (LON:SLN) has hit the first milestone in a deal with a US drugs company in just two months, triggering a US$2mln research payment.
The UK specialist in RNA therapeutics has already received US$20mln upfront from Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals as part of a potential multi-million dollar collaboration unveiled in July.
The latest cash sum was handed over after Silence completed pre-clinical work on SLN500 programme, which is developing drugs to inhibit or 'silence' the complement cascade.
This is a group of proteins that are involved in the immune system and that play a role in the development of inflammation.
The AIM-listed drug developer could receive up to US$10mln of research milestones and a further US$100mln in regulatory and clinical payments. Much further down the track, commercial payments could add up to US$503mln.
"Our partnership with Mallinckrodt has proved both exciting and productive and the triggering of this first research milestone highlights the rapid progress which has been achieved to date through the collaboration,” said chief executive, David Horn Solomon.
“We remain committed to progressing SLN500 into clinical development and we look forward to further milestones as we rapidly develop this and potentially other innovative assets targeting the complement pathway."