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Silence Says It is In Merger Talks, Reports 1H '09 Financials

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This story has been updated to include Silence's financial results for the first six months of 2009.

Britain's Silence Therapeutics this week confirmed that it is in merger talks with an undisclosed party and has temporarily suspended trading of its shares.

Silence also released its financial results for the first six months of 2009, which show a rise in revenues and a drop in research and development costs following the completion of preclinical work on the company's lead RNAi drug candidate.

As for the possible merger, Silence said that it "expects the proposed transaction to be treated as a reverse takeover … [and will be] subject to due diligence and would be conditional upon shareholder approval."

Additional details about the deal were not disclosed, but will be made available "in due course," the company said.

For the first half of 2009, Silence's revenues jumped to £856,626 ($1.4 million) from £124,338 in the same period a year earlier.

R&D expenses, meanwhile, shrank to £2.55 million from £3.1 million, a decline the company attributed to the wrapping up of preclinical work on Atu027, an siRNA-based cancer drug currently in a phase I trial of patients with advanced solid tumors.

Administrative costs fell to £1.92 million from £2.3 million in the six-month period.

As of June 30, Silence had cash totaling £3.1 million.