Silence Therapeutics and AZ extend siRNA collaboration


Silence Therapeutics and AstraZeneca extend their ongoing siRNA delivery collaboration

Global biotechnology company Silence Therapeutics and AstraZeneca 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 delivery approaches for RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics.

Philip Haworth, ceo of Silence Therapeutics, said: ‘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 realising the vast therapeutic potential of RNAi.

Under terms of the agreement, both companies retain the right to commercialise the novel delivery solutions that emerge from the collaboration. The agreement is independent of another ongoing collaboration, which is focused on developing novel RNAi therapeutics against specific disease targets exclusive to AstraZeneca.