20 May 2020
Strengthened Leadership, Board Appointment and Strong R&D and Corporate Progress
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED WITHIN THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS DEEMED BY THE COMPANY TO CONSTITUTE INSIDE INFORMATION AS STIPULATED UNDER THE EU MARKET ABUSE REGULATION (596/2014). UPON THE PUBLICATION OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT VIA A REGULATORY INFORMATION SERVICE, THIS INFORMATION IS CONSIDERED TO BE IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN
LONDON Silence Therapeutics plc (LON: SLN) ("Silence" or "the Company"), a leader in the discovery, development and delivery of novel siRNA therapeutics for the treatment of serious diseases, is pleased today to announce a company update including a strengthening of the leadership team and Board and progress on R&D, business development and corporate activities.
Strengthened leadership and Board
Iain Ross has agreed to become full time Executive Chairman in order to implement and oversee a number of key positive Company initiatives in the near future. This appointment follows an external search for a suitable CEO which will continue until the optimal CEO for Silence is found.
Silence is also pleased to announce today that Dr. Giles Campion will become an Executive Director of the Company with immediate effect. Giles is Head of R&D and Chief Medical Officer, having joined the Company in June 2019 and is pivotal to the R&D and medical departments which are central to the future of Silence’s success. Giles brings a significant amount of experience to Silence’s Board having spent more than 20 years within the biotech and pharmaceutical industry in Chief Medical Officer and R&D roles including at Prosensa, Novartis and Albumedix.
R&D progressing on track
Under Giles’ R&D leadership, Silence remains on track to submit an IND package for its prioritised asset, SLN360, later this year. SLN360 continues to show great promise in being able to address increased cardiovascular risk associated with raised levels of lipoprotein (a), which is considered to affect up to 10% of the population. For its SLN124 asset, the Company has received from the FDA rare paediatric disease designation for beta-thalassaemia and orphan drug designation for myelodysplastic syndrome. Notwithstanding the constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, clinical trials with both SLN360 and SLN124 are still planned to start this year.
Corporate and business development progress
With a view to increasing coverage and expanding the Company’s investor base, and as announced separately today, Investec has been appointed as Nominated Adviser (NOMAD) & UK Broker.
In addition, the Company has separately today announced its intention to submit a registration statement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to facilitate a listing of American Depositary Shares representing its ordinary shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Rob Quinn, CFO and Barbara Ruskin, General Counsel, who is based in the Company’s New York office which opened in March 2020, will lead this initiative.
Following the recent announcement of the multi-target AstraZeneca collaboration in March, the Company continues to hold discussions with a number of third parties regarding possible partnership and collaboration opportunities. Accordingly, the Company is strengthening its Business and Alliance Management capability under the leadership of John Strafford, VP Business Development, with a view to accommodating an expansion of its existing third-party relationships and, as appropriate, additional collaborations. As announced in April, the Company continues to produce critical reagents for COVID-19 PCR diagnostic test kits being manufactured by TIB Molbiol GmbH, based in Berlin.
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“Since I returned to Silence last year, the Company has advanced its innovative product pipeline, secured three validating big pharma partnerships, significantly strengthened its cash position and built a strong and experienced management team, which has proven it can execute a plan. The Company is at a critical stage of its development and I am very excited to be at the helm at this important time. “R&D lies at the heart of Silence and Giles’ experience has become increasingly paramount to the Company. I welcome him to our Board and know his input will be invaluable. As a Company we continue to monitor the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business as we initiate clinical trials with our lead programmes and continue to further build out our capabilities and competences whilst capitalising on the immediate international interest in our Company and its proprietary RNAi programmes and platform.”
Iain RossExecutive Chairman
“I am delighted to be joining the Silence Board at this exciting time. We are focused on delivering life-changing and accessible medicines in areas of great patient need and siRNA is demonstrating that it is a potent technology to achieve that aim. Buoyed by our recent validating platform deals, we now have the resources and scientific advisors to realise the transformational potential of our clinical stage assets including our lead programme, SLN360.”
Dr. Giles CampionHead of R&D and CMO
The following information is disclosed pursuant to Schedule Two, paragraph (g) of the AIM Rules for Companies:
Dave Lemus, Non-Executive Director
It has come to the Board’s attention that at the time of the appointment of Dave Lemus in June 2018, under his list of current directorships, LEMAX LLC was omitted where it should have been included. LEMAX is a sole-person LLC through which Mr Lemus provides advisory contracting from time to time.
Full name and age: Giles Victor Campion (aged 65).
Mr. Campion currently holds 10,000 ordinary shares in Silence.
Current Directorships or Partnerships:
Savoy Consulting Services
Future Screen Partners 2005 No.3 LLP
Previous Directorships or Partnerships in the last 5 years:
Future Screen Partners No.1 LLP
Prosensa Holding N.V.
BioMarin Nederland BV
No further information in connection with his appointment is required to be disclosed under Schedule Two, paragraph (g) of the AIM Rules for Companies.
For more information, please contact:
Silence Therapeutics plc
Iain Ross, Executive Chairman
Rob Quinn, Chief Financial Officer
Tel: +44 (0)20 3457 6900
Investec (Nominated Adviser and Broker)
Daniel Adams/Gary Clarence
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7597 5970
Consilium Strategic Communications
Mary-Jane Elliott/Chris Welsh/Angela Gray
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3709 5700
Tel: +1 (443) 213-0505
About Silence Therapeutics plc
Silence Therapeutics is developing a new generation of medicines by harnessing the body’s natural mechanism of RNA interference, or RNAi, within its cells. Its proprietary technology can selectively inhibit any gene in the genome, specifically silencing the production of disease-associated proteins. Silence’s proprietary RNA chemistries and delivery systems are designed to improve the stability of molecules and enhance effective delivery to target cells, providing a powerful modular technology well suited to tackle life-threatening diseases. The Company has secured high value research and collaboration agreements with AstraZeneca, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and Takeda. For more information, please visit: https://www.silence-therapeutics.com/
About Giles Campion
Giles, an expert in translational medicine, is a highly experienced biotech and pharmaceutical professional, and brings more than 30 years of experience in the industry to Silence. Most notably he served as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of R&D at Prosensa from 2009 to 2016, a European biotech company advancing oligonucleotide therapies for rare diseases, notably Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). During this time the company signed a collaboration agreement with GSK worth up to $655 million with double digit royalties. Prosensa went on to list on Nasdaq in 2013, raising $90 million in an initial public offering nine times oversubscribed, and was ultimately acquired by Biomarin in 2015 for $680 million.
Previously, Giles held senior R&D roles at Novartis including Therapeutic Area Head Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease and where he was a key member of a task force that defined the shape of a new integrated research and development organisation. Most recently, he served as Chief Medical Officer for Albumedix, Advisor to Myotherix, and a co-founder of PepGen, all companies focusing on therapies for rare diseases. At Albumedix, his remit was to build a development portfolio based on the company’s recombinant albumin platform and his work was instrumental in product development and an eventual financial exit for the owners of the company.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this announcement are forward-looking statements including with respect to the Company’s intention to submit a registration statement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) to facilitate a listing of American Depositary Shares representing its ordinary shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Any such listing remains subject to review of the registration statement by the SEC and approval of the listing by Nasdaq. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts but rather are based on the Company's current expectations, estimates, and projections about its industry; its beliefs; and assumptions. Words such as 'anticipates,' 'expects,' 'intends,' 'plans,' 'believes,' 'seeks,' 'estimates,' and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, some of which are beyond the Company's control, are difficult to predict, and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements including if the Company's registration statement is not declared effective by the SEC or if Nasdaq fails to approve the Company's ADS listing application. The Company cautions securityholders and prospective securityholders not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect the view of the Company only as of the date of this announcement. The forward-looking statements made in this announcement relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. The Company will not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions or updates to these forward-looking statements to reflect events, circumstances, or unanticipated events occurring after the date of this announcement except as required by law or by any appropriate regulatory authority.
This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities, and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of that jurisdiction.