Silence shouts about $400M AstraZeneca deal

Silence Therapeutics has partnered up with AstraZeneca in the early stage identification and development of short interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules in a deal that has a potential payoff of up to $400 million. Silence gets $15 million of that up front in access and equity payments that give AstraZeneca a 2.94 percent stake in the company. In turn AstraZeneca gets a license to Silence's siRNA technology, which has become a red-hot technology approach in biotech.

"We look forward to working with AstraZeneca to develop new RNAi therapeutics for the treatment of respiratory diseases, whilst concurrently continuing to create further significant shareholder value via the development of our proprietary oncology pipeline," Silence's chairman Iain Ross said.

- see Silence's announcement about the deal
- here's the report from Hemscott