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Silence Therapeutics surges on news of takeover approach

Silence Therapeutics (LON:SLN) shares shot up this afternoon after the company confirmed that it has received an approach which may or may not lead to an offer for the company.

The gene-silencing biotech firm jumped almost 50% on London’s AIM market, to trade at an intraday high of 10.75p in late afternoon deals.

No financial terms were disclosed and the potential bidder was not named.

According to Silence, it possesses one of the world’s most comprehensive RNAi therapeutic platforms - comprised of proprietary delivery technologies, potent siRNA sequences and innovative siRNA structural features.

The company believes that these three areas are critical to building, protecting and commercialising RNAi therapeutics.

Silence has a number of partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca (LON:AZN), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Quark Pharma and Dainippon Sumitomo (TYO:4506).

Last month, on 20th August, Silence shares received a boost as the company told investors that it could earn as much as US$65 million from a collaboration deal with Swiss giant Novartis (NYSE:NVS).

The focus of the study will be QPI-1002, an experimental kidney drug discovered by Silence, but licensed to American firm Quark.

The treatment is now being taken into phase II clinical trials.

The US$65 million is Silence’s slice of a potential $680 million windfall of potential milestone payments and royalties negotiated by Quark.

Quark will receive US$10 million up front. However it is not known how much of this sum will trickle down to Silence.