The UK's Silence Therapeutics has snapped up a stake in fellow RNA therapeutics group US biotech Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals for around £7.8 million, to expand its potential reach in the field.

The move gives Silence 8.4 percent of the common share capital of Arrowhead, which develops medicines to treat intractable diseases by silencing the genes that cause them.

Explaining its rationale for the deal, Silence said its believes Arrowhead's IP, technology and pipeline "is among the leading platform technologies in a sector that promises huge potential advances by generating novel medicines."

The acquisition of equity in the firm will pave the way for future discussions on possible transactions with Arrowhead, such as product licensing, R&D collaboration, technology sharing or a potential corporate transaction, it noted.

"We believe that the recent technological advancements in RNA therapeutics have been underestimated and undervalued," commented Silence's chief executive Ali Mortazavi.

"We are confident that the recent market approval of medicines in our field are the beginning of the emergence of an important new class of therapeutics. We look forward to opening a constructive dialogue with Arrowhead."