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Silence Says Lung Injury Drug Shows Promise in Animal Study

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Silence Therapeutics this week announced that it has generated preclinical data showing that its acute lung injury drug Atu111 could boost the survival of mice infected with pneumonia when combined with antibiotics.

Atu111 is comprised of siRNAs against angiopoietin-2, an “antagonistic ligand of Tie-2 signaling ... implicated in progressing endothelial dysfunction in the context of disease pathogenesis for acute lung injury or sepsis,” according to Silence. It is delivered with the firm's proprietary DACC delivery technology, which specifically targets the endothelium.

The preclinical study examined Atu111 with antibiotics in Streptococcus pneumoniae-infected mice, and demonstrated a 90 percent survival benefit for treated animals compared with non-treated ones. Antibiotic treatment alone resulted in a 20 percent survival benefit compared with untreated controls, Silence said.

Silence said it has now begun collaborating with researchers at Hannover Medical School in Germany to further explore the therapeutic effects of Atu111 in animal models of acute lung injury and sepsis.

Earlier this year, Silence CEO Tony Sedgwick told Gene Silencing News that Atu111 is being prepared to enter clinical testing in 2013 (GSN 2/16/2012).

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