8 February 2013

Sylentis, a Spanish Clinical-Stage Biopharmaceutical Company Developing RNAi-based Therapeutics

Organised by:

 SCI's Biotechnology Group in conjunction with the University of Westminster

University of Westminster

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Synopsis

Sylentis was founded in 2006 as a spin-off from Genomica, a sister company in the Zeltia Group, with the mission of developing therapeutics based on a recently discovered class of compounds: short interfering RNA.

Starting with an initial team of 5 people, the company has grown to its present size of 16, and taken two compounds to clinical trials.

The mechanism of RNA interference reduced protein production be selectively inhibiting protein synthesis, thus acting at an earlier stage than presently available medicines. The challenge to using this technology is the high lability of RNA molecules and the difficulty to reach the target tissues. To overcome this hurdle, the initial focus of the company has been on topical therapy, using eyedrops, intranasal and interectal delivery.

As a result the most advanced compounds have been developed to be administered as eyedrops to treat two major ophthalmic diseases: glaucoma and ocular pain associated to dry eye syndrome. The most advanced compound is SYL040012 a siRNA directed to ADRB2, which has shown promising results in a rabbit animal model of glaucoma. This compound is currently undergoing a phase II clinical trial.

This is a story of how a small team of women from Spain has managed to be to become a player in the international biotech space.


Venue and Contact

University of Westminster

University of Westminster, School of Life Sciences, 115 New Cavendish Street London W1W 6UW

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Sci Comms Team

Email: communications@soci.org


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Additional Info

Speaker

Dr Natalia Wright
Silentis S.A., Spain