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Silence Therapeutics reaches settlement and licence agreement with Alnylam, ending patent battle

Alnylam will license patents from Silence and will pay the UK-listed group a tiered royalty on net sales of the US biotech group’s ONPATTRO drug in the EU only, ranging from 0.33%to 1.0% through 2023

Patent battle
Silence Therapeutics added that all legal proceedings in all jurisdictions between the companies are resolved under the settlement

Silence Therapeutics PLC (LON:SLN) announced on Monday that it has reached a settlement and license agreement with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc (NASDAQ: ALNY) which resolves all patent legal proceedings between the two firms.

The firm said Alnylam will license patents from Silence and will pay the UK-listed group a tiered royalty on net sales of the US biotech group’s ONPATTRO drug in the EU only ranging from 0.33%to 1.0% through 2023.

WATCH: Silence Therapeutics CEO looks ahead to clinical trial next year and prospects for RNAi

Silence Therapeutics - a leader in the discovery, development and delivery of novel RNA therapeutics for the treatment of serious diseases – added that all legal proceedings in all jurisdictions between the companies are resolved under the settlement.

David Horn Solomon, Silence Therapeutics’ chief executive officer commented: "We are excited for the potential of ONPATTRO to treat patients with hereditary ATTR amyloidosis polyneuropathy as the first RNAi medicine and are looking forward to following Alnylam's achievements. 

“At Silence Therapeutics we now look forward to focusing on advancing a pipeline of competitive and differentiated medicines that will benefit patients and caregivers."

At the start of October, Silence Therapeutics' long-running patent battle with Alnylam, which was focused on the technology at the heart of ONPATTRO, its first commercial drug, took a new turn when it said European authorities were about to grant a patent further protecting its method of silencing genes via the issue of a notice of intention.

The group also said then that it had applied for an injunction in the Netherlands to prevent Alnylam's ONPATTRO treatment going on sale until a court is able to determine whether the US group has infringed a key patent.

Peel Hunt places rating 'under review'

In a note to clients, analysts at Peel Hunt placed their rating for Silence Therapeutics ‘under review’ and commented: “New management is keen to stress that with risk and cost of litigation now behind it, it can focus on building its pipeline in the near future.

“We had previously included higher, albeit risk-adjusted, royalties (circa 3%-5%) and milestone payments (£7.5mln-£10mln) for the Alnylam settlement but had not included the benefit of Silence’s growing pipeline in the valuation.

“We see today’s news as further validation of the competence that Silence has in RNAi therapeutics but take this opportunity to go to U/R in order to review assumptions with management on the pipeline.”

In early afternoon trading, shares in Silence Therapeutics were 12.8% lower at 75p.

 -- Adds analyst comment, share price --

Quick facts: Silence Therapeutics PLC

Price: 530 GBX

AIM:SLN
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £415.36 m
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