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The previously announced buyout negotiations Silence is holding with an undisclosed party remain ongoing, but no new details were available.

Alnylam said that opponents to the patent included Merck subsidiary Sirna Therapeutics, Silence Therapeutics, Pfizer, and BASF.

Notably, the patent in dispute is part of the so-called Zamore IP family. Alnylam's top official earlier this year publicly dismissed a related US patent from the Zamore family as "not worth anything."

In the newly published study, the company's drug, when administered intravenously to mice, had "a clear inhibitory effect on the formation of pulmonary metastasis," Silence said.

This summer, Silence received a related patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office covering the technology.

For the six-month period ended June 30, Silence's net loss rose to ₤7.05 million ($11 million) from ₤3.57 million in the year-ago period.

Details about the "approach, which may or may not lead to an offer for the company," will be provided "in due course," Silence said. The news comes as an more and more drug makers are opting to acquire RNAi shops with technologies of interest rather than collaborating with them.

During a conference call held to discuss Alnylam's second-quarter financial results, the company also provided some details on its biologics manufacturing initiative.

Philip Haworth also said that the company does not agree that Alnylam's own IP estate is as dominant as it portrays it to be, and that "we've never believed there will be a single party from whom all [RNAi therapeutics] flow."

As RNAi drug candidates move through pipelines and information about their structures becomes available, Silence expects to find that "a number" of them incorporate modifications covered by its IP.


The US has sent its formal notice of withdrawal from the World Health Organization, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Science reports that a draft spending bill would increase the US National Institutes of Health budget by 13 percent.

The Harvard Crimson reports that Harvard and MIT are suing the Department of Homeland Security and ICE over the new international student visa policy.

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: algorithm to determine molecular sequence types and other microbial features, computational method to uncover R-loop structures, and more.