Silence Therapeutics has revealed that a takeover offer has been made, news which has sent the company's shares soaring.

The RNA interference specialist, which is headquartered in London, issued a statement to the London Stock Exchange noting "the recent share price movement". The firm then announced it has "received an approach which may or may not lead to an offer for the company", adding that a further announcement will be made in due course.

The news was met with excitement from investors and Silence shares climbed over 76% to close last night at 12.75 pence. Three weeks ago the stock was trading at around 5 pence.

Silence, which carries out R&D activities in Berlin and has operations in Redwood City, California, has a pipeline that includes five different internal and partnered programmes in the clinic. It has alliances in place with AstraZeneca, Pfizer/Quark and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, and says that at least half of the short interfering RNA (siRNA) programmes currently in clinical development worldwide are based on Silence's technology.