Silence and Intradigm merge RNAi forces, flag deals

Two small RNAi players are merging forces in hopes of attracting some increased attention from the Big Pharma coaches calling the partnership plays. The UK's Silence Therapeutics will issue $26 million in shares to acquire Palo Alto, CA-based Intradigm, giving Intradigm's shareholders a 36.6 percent slice of the combined pie.  

Silence also says that it raised £15 million from a share placement while a group of investors including Alta Partners, Frazier Healthcare, Lilly Ventures, Roche Finance and Astellas Venture chipped in five million pounds. After the merger goes through, Intradigm CEO Philip Haworth becomes CEO of the combined venture while Silence Chairman Iain Ross stays on in the same post.

"By bringing together a comprehensive platform of siRNA delivery and development technologies, we believe Silence Therapeutics will be a partner of choice for those seeking to develop RNAi therapeutics," said Ross. "With a strengthened balance sheet, experienced management and extended research capability, Silence Therapeutics is well placed to strike the development deals that will deliver value for shareholders."

- here's the release for more info
- check out the story from Reuters