Yesterday, biopharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt announced a collaboration with Silence Therapeutics, a developer of RNA interference therapeutics. The agreement should allow the companies to develop and commercialise RNAi drug targets that silence the complement cascade, a group of proteins that help promote inflammation and are involved in the progression of many diseases, including autoimmune variants.
Under the agreement Mallinckrodt will gain a worldwide licence to Silence’s SLN500, with options to licence another two assets. Silence Therapeutics will be responsible for SLN500’s preclinical activities and development until Phase I, after which Mallinckrodt will take responsibility for clinical development and global commercialisation.
Nathanial Calloway, Edison healthcare analyst said, “This is an especially attractive deal for a preclinical asset, with both a high upfront and high downstream royalties for a drug licensed at this stage. Moreover, Silence must only commit to developing the drug through Phase I, so there is little financial risk from their perspective. The value we are seeing here is a significant endorsement of the company’s intellectual property.”
Mallinckrodt has also agreed to an upfront payment of £20m to Silence, which is eligible for £10m in research milestones for SLN500 and optioned assets. The collaboration also provides potential clinical and regulatory milestone payments of up to $100m and commercial milestones of up to $563m for SLN500. This is in addition to $703m in milestone payments that Silence could receive from similar regulatory and commercial payments per asset. Silence would also receive royalties on net sales in a low double-digit to high-teen range for each asset.
Steven Romano, M.D Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President, said “We are very excited by the significant potential offered by Silence’s RNAi technology to meet the needs of underserved patients in a number of serious and critical conditions, and we look forward to collaborating with them to advance development of complement-targeted assets as new therapeutic options,”