Silence Therapeutics Appoints Dr. John Strafford as Senior Vice President, Business Development, Alliance Management and New Product Development
1 September 2021
LONDON, Silence Therapeutics plc, AIM:SLN and Nasdaq: SLN (“Silence” or “the Company”), a leader in the discovery, development and delivery of novel short interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA) therapeutics for the treatment of diseases with significant unmet medical need, today announced the appointment of John Strafford, Ph.D., to the newly created role of Senior Vice President, Business Development, Alliance Management and New Product Development, effective immediately. John joined Silence in 2018 and has served as Vice President, Head of Business Development and member of the Executive Leadership Team since 2019. In his new role, John will continue to drive all business development and alliance management activities as well as lead the new product development function, helping to define the future commercial strategy for the Company’s proprietary mRNAi GOLD™ development pipeline.
Mark Rothera, President and Chief Executive Officer of Silence Therapeutics, said: “John has played a critical role in establishing key strategic partnerships that further expand our portfolio of mRNAi GOLD™ platform programs and continues to serve as an important source of non-dilutive capital. As we build and advance our proprietary and partnered pipelines, John will be taking on increasing responsibilities in this new role which recognizes not only his prior efforts but my anticipation of all the important work he will be doing during this transformative period at Silence.”
John has 14 years of business development and strategic consulting experience in the biopharma industry. During his time at Silence, John has led the formation of collaborations with AstraZeneca, Mallinckrodt and Takeda as well as a range of undisclosed research collaborations in support of our extra-hepatic delivery strategy. Together, these collaborations have delivered over $100 million in upfront payments and represent a total potential deal value of over $6 billion. Before joining Silence, John held positions of increasing responsibility at Antisoma, Easton Associates, Novasecta and Concordia International.
John holds a PhD in Biochemical Engineering from University College London, an MRes in Bioinformatics from the University of York and a BSc in Molecular Biology from the University of Edinburgh. In 2009 John was awarded the Pharma Licensing Group (PLG) Business Development Best Newcomer of the Year Award.
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About Silence Therapeutics
Silence Therapeutics is developing a new generation of medicines by harnessing the body's natural mechanism of RNA interference, or RNAi, to inhibit the expression of specific target genes thought to play a role in the pathology of diseases with significant unmet need. Silence's proprietary mRNAi GOLD™ platform can be used to create siRNAs (short interfering RNAs) that precisely target and silence disease-associated genes in the liver, which represents a substantial opportunity. Silence's wholly owned product candidates include SLN360 designed to address the high and prevalent unmet medical need in reducing cardiovascular risk in people born with high levels of lipoprotein(a) and SLN124 designed to address iron-loading anemia conditions. Silence also maintains ongoing research and development collaborations with AstraZeneca, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, and Takeda, among others. For more information, please visit https://www.silence-therapeutics.com/.
Certain statements made in this announcement are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other securities laws, including with respect to the Company’s clinical and commercial prospects and the anticipated timing of data reports from the Company’s clinical trials. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts but rather are based on the Company's current expectations, estimates, and projections about its industry; its beliefs; and assumptions. Words such as 'anticipates,' 'expects,' 'intends,' 'plans,' 'believes,' 'seeks,' 'estimates,' and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, some of which are beyond the Company's control, are difficult to predict, and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements, including those risks identified in the Company’s most recent Admission Document and its amended Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 29, 2021. The Company cautions security holders and prospective security holders not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect the view of the Company only as of the date of this announcement. The forward-looking statements made in this announcement relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. The Company will not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions or updates to these forward-looking statements to reflect events, circumstances, or unanticipated events occurring after the date of this announcement except as required by law or by any appropriate regulatory authority.