Silence Therapeutics plc, AIM:SLN (“Silence” or the “Company”) a leader in the discovery, delivery and development of novel RNA therapeutics for the treatment of serious diseases with unmet medical need, announces that it has acquired a stake, on-market, in Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARWR) (“Arrowhead”) of 6,006,359 common shares, representing 8.4% of the common share capital of Arrowhead, for a total cash consideration of $9.6 million (£7.8 million(1)), excluding transaction costs.
Since the capital raise of May 2015, Silence has been actively evaluating a number of RNAi assets, including technologies within both listed and unlisted RNAi companies. Arrowhead is a US based NASDAQ listed company that develops medicines to treat intractable diseases by silencing the genes that cause them by means of a broad portfolio of RNA chemistries and efficient modes of delivery. The Company believes that Arrowhead’s IP, technology and pipeline is among the leading platform technologies in a sector that promises huge potential advances by generating novel medicines.
Silence has acquired the equity position in order to facilitate future discussions regarding a possible transaction with Arrowhead, which could include, but is not limited to, product licensing, R&D collaboration, technology sharing or a potential corporate transaction. Silence and Arrowhead are not currently engaged in any discussions regarding a possible transaction. Silence will update the market at the appropriate time should any discussions progress to a transaction.
Silence has acquired the stake using its existing cash resources. The stake will not be consolidated and will be held as an investment asset on the Company’s balance sheet, as such there are no profits to attribute to the assets being held. There will be no contribution from the investment to Silence’s net loss. The Company confirms that it reported net cash of £47.6 million as at 30 June in its interim results.
1 Exchange rate used 1.234
Ali Mortazavi, Chief Executive Officer of Silence Therapeutics plc, commented: “We believe that the recent technological advancements in RNA therapeutics have been underestimated and undervalued. We are confident that the recent market approval of medicines in our field are the beginning of the emergence of an important new class of therapeutics. We look forward to opening a constructive dialogue with Arrowhead.”