Silence breaks out with preclinical data on Atu111

London-based Silence Therapeutics has reported positive data from a preclinical trial of Atu111, an RNAi therapeutic formulated using its DACC delivery system.

Atu111 is in development for the treatment of acute lung injury, and blocks the expression of Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2). In the animal study, looking at lung injury caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae infection, treatment with Atu111 in combination with antibiotics improved survival 90% compared with untreated animals; in contrast, antibiotics alone only improved survival 20%. Atu111 has also shown efficacy in a model of septic shock.

Silence is collaborating with Hannover Medical School in Germany to evaluate Atu111 in preclinical models for acute lung injury and sepsis.

Lead investigator Sascha David stated: "Given the high incidence and mortality of sepsis and septic shock in the clinic, specific therapies are highly desirable and Atu111 could represent a very promising candidate."

Silence's DACC technology was the subject of a deal with a major (and undisclosed) pharma company in September 2011, and the company signed a drug delivery pact last month with Australian company MiReven.

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