Source - RNS
RNS Number : 8797I
Silence Therapeutics PLC
05 September 2016

5 September 2016


Silence Therapeutics appoints Dmitry Samarsky, PhD as Chief Scientific Officer and Dr Andy Richards CBE as Non-Executive Director


Silence Therapeutics Plc, AIM: SLN, ("Silence" or "the Company") a leader in the discovery, delivery and development of novel RNA therapeutics for the treatment of serious diseases with unmet medical need, announces the appointment of Dmitry Samarsky, PhD as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), effective on 14 September 2016, and Dr Andy Richards CBE as Non-Executive Director and member of the Board, effective immediately.


Dr Samarsky brings outstanding and highly relevant expertise in RNA therapeutics with a strong track record in the discovery and development of RNA therapeutics. During his career he has authored numerous articles in high impact scientific journals, book chapters and patents and presented, chaired and advised on the subject at more than 100 international scientific conferences. Widely recognised as an expert in the oligonucleotide field, he joins the Company from OliX Pharmaceuticals where he held the position as Senior VP of Technology and Global Business Development. Previously, as Senior VP of Technology and International Business Development at RiboBio (China), Dmitry played a pivotal role in placing the company amongst the international players in the oligonucleotide field between 2011 and 2015. Prior to that, Dmitry served as Vice President of Technology Development of RXi Pharmaceuticals from 2007 to 2011, co-inventing and developing the company's key self-delivering RNAi technology. He was previously Director of Technology Development at Dharmacon, while leading an RNAi application laboratory and field application scientists. Dmitry's academic career includes postdoctoral work as H. Arthur Smith Fellow for Cancer Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, graduate research at the Institute of Molecular Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow) and a BSc in Biochemistry from the National University of Lviv (Ukraine).


Dr Richards is a specialist entrepreneur and investor in the biotechnology sector. He is currently Chairman of several UK biotechnology companies, including of AIM listed medical imaging and digital health provider, IXICO plc, Abcodia Ltd, Congenica Ltd and Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd. He is also a director of Cancer Research Technology Ltd (commercialisation arm of CRUK), since 2003, IESO Digital Health Ltd and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Dr Richards is an adviser to Cambridge Innovation Capital and the UCL Technology Fund as well as being a founding member of the Cambridge Angels. He has a track record in founding and scaling up life-science companies including Vectura plc, Arakis and Chiroscience Group plc, the latter of which he served with as an executive director until its merger with Celltech in 1999. Previously, Andy held positions at ICI (now AstraZeneca) and PA Technology.  He is a graduate of Cambridge University and received a CBE in 2015 for services to life-science investment.

Dr Richards will chair the Remuneration Committee and sit on the Audit & Risk and Nominations committees at the Company.



Ali Mortazavi, Chief Executive Officer of Silence, commented:

"We have undertaken an extensive search to find a CSO with experience in RNA therapeutics and are pleased to have recruited Dmitry, who brings a combination of deep technical expertise and commercial knowledge to Silence. Dmitry will be key in leading our efforts as we increase our liver focus and R&D in conjugated siRNAs. I look forward to working closely with him."   


Dr Stephen Parker, Chairman of Silence, commented:

"We are delighted to have attracted Andy Richards, a recognised leader in the UK biotechnology sector, to join the Board of Silence. We look forward to the benefit of his considerable experience in the commercial aspects of the sector as well as his overall guidance."


Dr Dmitry Samarsky, commented:

"Silence has fostered one of the world's most experienced and accomplished R&D groups in oligonucleotide technologies. I am honoured and energised to join this outstanding team in its challenging quest to develop advanced RNA therapies."


Dr Andy Richards, commented:

"The field of RNA therapeutics has tremendous potential and one where Silence is well positioned with its established platform and intellectual property position. I am looking forward to working with the Board and team at Silence to further translate that platform into successful clinical products which result in both patient benefit and commercial value."  



The following further information regarding the appointment of Dr Andrew John McGlashan Richards, aged 56, is disclosed under Schedule 2(g) of the AIM Rules for Companies:


Existing Directorships

Abcodia Ltd

Arecor Ltd

Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd

Cambridge Temperature Concepts Ltd

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Cancer Research Technology Ltd

Congenica Ltd

Croggan Ltd

IESO Digital Health Ltd


Novacta Biosystems Ltd - currently undergoing Members Voluntary Liquidation, commenced April 2016


Directorships held within the last five years

Altacor Ltd

Ixico Ltd (now called IXICO Technologies Ltd)

Summit Corporation Plc (now called Summit Therapeutics plc)






Silence Therapeutics plc

Tel: +44 (0)20 3457 6900

Ali Mortazavi, Chief Executive Officer

David Ellam, Chief Financial Officer

Canaccord Genuity Limited (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

Tel: +44 (0)20 7523 8350


Dr Julian Feneley/Henry Fitzgerald-O'Connor/Emma Gabriel

Peel Hunt LLP (Joint Broker)

Tel: +44 (0)20 7418 8900

James Steel/Oliver Jackson

Media Enquiries:

FTI Consulting

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3727 1000

Simon Conway/Brett Pollard/Stephanie Cuthbert




Notes to Editors:


About Silence Therapeutics Plc

Our technology harnesses the body's natural mechanisms to create therapeutic effects within its cells. This technology can selectively silence or replace any gene in the genome, modulating gene expression up as well as down in a variety of organs and cell types, in vivo. We have developed proprietary modifications to improve the robustness of RNA sequences, as well as advanced chemistries to enhance the effective delivery of therapeutics to target cells.

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