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Silence Cancer Drug Advances into Phase IIa Portion of Clinical Study

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Silence Therapeutics this week announced that its siRNA-based cancer drug Atu027 has progressed into the phase IIa portion of an ongoing phase Ib/IIa trial.

The drug is a blunt-ended siRNA that is formulated with the company’s proprietary AtuPlex lipid-based delivery technology and targets the protein kinase PKN-3, which is associated with cellular morphology and locomotion in endothelial and cancer cells.

In late May, Silence initiated the phase Ib part of the trial, which is testing Atu027 in combination with the chemotherapeutic gemcitabine in patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer (GSN 5/30/2013).

This week, the company said that the trial’s data safety monitoring board recommended that the phase IIa portion begin after finding that the phase Ib data showed the combination therapy to be well tolerated.

Silence said that it expects to have enrolled all the study’s patients by mid-2014 and complete a one-year follow up by mid-2015.

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