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Silence Obtains Important Patent Protection for Lead Internal Development Compound, Atu027
Date:7/23/2008

European Patent Office Notifies Company of Intent to Grant Patent

LONDON, July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Silence Therapeutics plc (AIM: SLN), a leading European RNAi focused biotechnology company, today announces new intellectual property cover for its lead product, Atu027. The European Patent Office announced on July 17, 2008 that it intends to grant a European patent covering Silence's lead internal product candidate. This patent will give Silence broad exclusivity not only for Atu027, but for any siRNA targeting protein kinase N beta.

The notice is based on European patent application EP 03 790 894.4. The claims deemed allowable by the European Patent Office are directed to various aspects of the use of protein kinase N beta, the gene target of Atu027. Among others, the claims are related to any siRNA molecule, including Atu027, directed against protein kinase N beta for use in the treatment of numerous cancers involving the PI3-kinase pathway. Other claims are related to the use of protein kinase N beta for screening purposes and its use as a downstream target of the PI3-kinase pathway.

Atu027 is a proprietary AtuRNAi molecule currently in development for solid cancer indications, including gastrointestinal and lung cancers. The candidate is designed to silence the function of a novel kinase protein involved in tumour growth and metastases and utilizes Silence Therapeutics's proprietary drug delivery system AtuPLEX to deliver active drug into the appropriate cells following systemic administration.

"The protection of targets through composition of matter patents is an important part of our patent strategy," said Iain Ross, Chairman and CEO of Silence Therapeutics. "The notice of intent to grant represents a significant step forward for the Group in both its own programs and those of its collaborators, as it provides intellectual property cover not only for the Company's lead product, Atu027, but also broad exclusivity for any siRNA t
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SOURCE Silence Therapeutics plc
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