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Silence Reports Higher 1H Loss on Special Charge

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Silence Therapeutics last month released its financial results for the first six months of 2012, reporting a sharply increased net loss on charges related to its decision to drop its license to certain RNAi intellectual property.

For the six-month period ended June 30, Silence's net loss jumped to £25.5 million ($40.8 million), compared with £3.4 million in the same period a year earlier. Driving the loss up was a £20.4 million write-off of goodwill related to Intradigm, a California-based RNAi drug developer acquired by Silence in 2010.

One of Intradigm's key assets was a license from the University of Massachusetts to the so-called Zamore Design Rules IP, which relate to methods of producing modified double-stranded agents with decreased off-target silencing activity. Earlier this year, Silence opted to end its license to the IP, citing cost constraints (GSN 7/12/2012). Doing so prompted the goodwill write-off, Silence said.

Excluding the extraordinary charge, Silence's net loss for the first half of this year was £2.9 million.

Revenues in the six-month period were £40,000, compared with £350,000 last year, reflecting lower income from license partners, while research and development spending remained essentially flat at £1.9 million.

Silence had £950,000 in cash on hand at the end of the half-year period, but recently raised £6.45 million, which is expected to fund its operations into the second half of 2014.

The company reiterated its expectation that it will begin a phase Ib study of its sole clinical candidate, the cancer treatment Atu027, by late 2012 or early 2013.

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