Silence Therapeutics PLC is to carry out a clinical trial of its pioneering gene silencing therapy SLN124 in a third indication, polycythaemia vera, a rare form of blood cancer.

Mark Rothera, chief executive said: “We are pleased to report strong progress across both our proprietary and partnered pipelines, including plans to further expand the SLN124 program into a third indication, PV, where endogenous hepcidin modulation can potentially improve outcomes for 3.5 million people worldwide who currently have very limited treatment options.

At an R&D day in New York, Silence added that its SLN360 programme for cardiovascular disease was also on track to publish ‘topline’ phase 1 trial data in the first quarter of 2022.

Giles Campion, Silence’s chief medical officer said: “We are very encouraged by the outcomes from our recent safety review committee meeting for SLN360.

“Based on their recommendations, we have now defined our dose range and are ready to start the multiple-ascending dose study.

“We are also extending the follow-up period in the single-ascending dose study to fully characterize SLN360’s duration of action, which may be even longer than we initially anticipated.

Silence also provided an update on its growing discovery pipeline and ambitions to deliver 2-3 INDs per year from 2023.

The company recently signed a collaboration deal with Chinese pharma Hansoh to add to deals already in place with UK giant AstraZeneca and US group Mallinckrodt.

“Through our hybrid business model, we are committed to maximizing the substantial opportunity for our mRNAi GOLD platform and remain well-positioned to deliver 2-3 INDs per year from 2023,” Rothera added.

“We look forward to further evaluating SLN360 in the clinic and remain on-track to report topline data in the single-ascending dose study in the first quarter of 2022.”

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