Silence Therapeutics entered into a collaboration with AstraZeneca primarily in the respiratory field that could be worth up to GBP 200 million, or approximately $400 million, plus royalties.
The three-year R&D deal involves the discovery and development of siRNA molecules against up to five AstraZeneca targets. The firms will collaborate in the early phase of identification and optimization. AstraZeneca retains full responsibility for clinical development and commercialization. The agreement could be extended into other disease areas of interest to AstraZeneca.
In addition, Silence Therapeutics will provide AstraZeneca with a license to its siRNA technology in return for an initial access fee of GBP 7.5 million, comprising GBP 2.5 million in cash plus an equity investment of GBP 5 million. AstraZeneca thus will hold 2.94% of the total voting rights of Silence Therapeutics.