Silence Therapeutics plc (AIM: SLN) ("Silence" or the "Company"), a leading RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics company, announces the issuance of patent 4810095 entitled "Use of Protein Kinase N beta" by the Japanese Patent Office. The issued patent covers certain methods for screening a therapeutic agent for the treatment and/or prevention of any disease that involves elevated activity within the PI3-kinase pathway. More specifically, this new intellectual property covers the use of protein kinase N 3 ("PKN3") for screening of therapeutic agents, thus preventing others from using PKN3 for screening purposes. This new patent is broadly directed to various classes of therapeutic agents with the potential to impact the PI3-kinase pathway including short interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules, antibodies and small molecules, among others.
PKN3 is a protein kinase C-related molecule, involved in the PI3-kinase pathway that is believed to play an important role in the growth of cancer cells, as well as metastasis formation. Silence has built a significant research program around PKN3 and the company's lead clinical compound, Atu027, is an RNAi therapeutic that targets PKN3 for the treatment of advanced solid tumors.
"We are excited about consolidating our broad patent portfolio in Japan, especially as it pertains to our high-value PKN3 program," said Dr Klaus Giese, chief scientific officer of Silence Therapeutics. "This patent positions Silence as the exclusive gatekeeper for any project focused on developing therapeutics targeting PKN3, and as interest in this important oncology target continues to grow rapidly, we expect the value of this intellectual property position will also increase significantly."
Silence Therapeutics is proactively building and strengthening its global, diverse and competitive intellectual property portfolio. This provides the Company and potential partners with a strong proprietary position in the RNAi therapeutics space. The Company expects to make significant further progress in reinforcing its patent portfolio during 2011. At present, Silence's global patent portfolio contains issued patents and pending applications covering strategic areas of RNAi therapeutic development. These include multiple proprietary siRNA delivery technologies, potent siRNA sequences specific for high-value disease targets and chemical modifications.
SOURCE Silence Therapeutics Plc