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What is this event about?

RNAi 1


This is SMi's fifth conference on the subject of RNAi, siRNA and miRNA.  It will build on the success of the past four years, and brings together the leading experts in industry and academia to explore the cutting edge of new therapeutics being researched and brought to the marketplace.

Taking place in London, UK, this conference will look at a wide range of issues within the RNAi arena.  It will combine a study of the latest successes in the research and development phase with presentations covering the key themes of delivery, target identification  and IP issues.

Questions examined during the conference will include: What are the best delivery methods for siRNA and RNA-based therapeutics?  How do you carry out gene silencing?  What is the best method to use an siRNA library for target identification?  How is cell stress related to decreased RNAi?  What are the patent issues for oligonucleotides?  How do miRNAs regulate gene expression?


Fancy speaking at the conference?  Do you know of anyone who may be interested in speaking?  We are always on the look-out for new speakers for our upcoming conferences.  Let us know: smiproduction@smi-online.co.uk.

For sponsorship and exhibitioning opportunities, contact sponsorshipdept@smi-online.co.uk 

 Why should you attend this event?

Delegates at this conference will learn about

  • The latest successes and failures for new targets and drugs
  • Intellectual Property issues for RNA-based therapeutics
  • Delivery technologies for siRNA and oligoneucleotides
  • Nanomedicinal appraoches
  • Development challenges for RNA-based therapeutics
  • Immunology of nucleic acids
 RNAi 2
 RNAi 3

How you will benefit from attending this conference

Hear from some of the most important and influential experts working in RNAi

Learn about the challenges faced by the industry in bringing RNAi therapeutics to the marketplace

Study the latest targets and compounds being researched

Network with people you need to know in the RNAi world

Who is chairing this event?

Day One (All day)

Michael Keller
Senior Fellow, siRNA Project Leader, Technical Research and Development(TRD)

Day Two (Morning)

Marion Jurk
Director, Discovery & Development
Pfizer Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Unit (Düsseldorf)

Day Two (Afternoon)

Dmitry Samarsky
VP, Technology Development
RXi Pharmaceuticals

Who is speaking at this event?

Our keynote speakers

Michael Keller
Senior Fellow, siRNA Project Leader, Technical Research and Development(TRD)

Ken Clark
Director, Respiratory siRNA DPU

Herbert Müller-Hartmann
Director, R&D

Peter Jackson
Chief Operating Officer
Medesis Pharma

Marion Jurk
Director, Discovery & Development
Pfizer Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Unit (Düsseldorf)

Our expert speakers

Aimee Jackson, Director of Drug Discovery, Regulus Therapeutics

Dmitry Samarsky, VP, Technology Development, RXi Pharmaceuticals

Claude Paul Malvy, Director, IFSBM, Universite Paris-Sud

Mark Eccleston, Director, Business Development, ValiRx

Jesper Wengel, Professor, Nucleic Acid Centre, University of Southern Denmark

Suzy Lena Wengel, CEO, RiboTask

Victoria González, Preclinical Manager, Sylentis (Zeltia Group)

Georg Sczakiel, Professor, Institute for Molecular Medicine, Lubeck University

Roberto Guerciolini, Senior Vice President, Dicerna Pharmaceuticals

Lorna Brazell, Partner, Bird & Bird

Elena Bichenkova, Senior Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry, University of Manchester

Karl-Hermann Schlingensiepen, CEO, Antisense Pharma

Dimitris Lagos, Group Member, Cancer Research UK Viral Oncology Group

Maurizio Ceppi, Project Manager, Genomic Vision

Elena Vigorito, Group Leader, Lymphocyte Signalling & Development, Babraham Institute

Marc Lemaitre, CEO, Girindus America

Marie-Andree Yessine, Scientist, OctoPlus Development

Who should attend this event?

Chief Executives, Vice Presidents, Heads, Directors, Chief Scientists and Project Leaders of

  • RNAi
  • miRNA/microRNA
  • siRNA
  • RNA Silencing
  • Genomics Technologies
  • Bioinformatics
  • Gene Modulation
  • Chemistry and Manufacture
  • Translational Research
  • Discovery Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Discovery Research
  • Molecular Biology and Chemistry
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Business Development

 Delegates at our 2009 RNAi, siRNA and miRNA conference came from across the world

Graph of delegate countries

 Where is the event being held? 

Crowne Plaza London - The City

The Crowne Plaza London - The City is a modern and stylish central London hotel in the heart of the City of London.  This deluxe hotel is just a step from Blackfriars Mainline Train Station which has a direct connection to St. Pancras International Eurostar Terminal.

The hotel is a short walk from either Temple or Mansion House tube stations on the District & Circle lines or from St Paul's tube station on the Central Line.  Blackfriars tube station is currently closed due to the extensive renovation works taking place as part of the new Crossrail project.

Crowne Plaza London - The City is ideally located for business and leisure, minutes away from some of London's most famous attractions: The London Eye, St Paul's Cathedral, the Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern and West End theatres.

Crowne Plaza Club rooms, King Studios and Suites are available at your request. High Speed Internet access is offered in all fully air-conditioned bedrooms.

Indulge at one of the hotel's three restaurants or bar.  Our acclaimed award winning Refettorio restaurant, directed by Michelin starred Chef Giorgio Locatelli, is the place to be seen in the city.  A sensational asian alternative is the newly opened Chinese Cricket Club.  For those seeking fitness and relaxation, our Fitness Club with sauna is complimentary to all hotel guests. 

Crowne Plaza London - The City


19 New Bridge Street  EC4V 6DB

Tel: +44 (0) 870 4009 190    Fax: +44 (0) 207 4388 080

Book your accommodation at SMi discounted rates by calling us on +44 (0)870 9090 713, sending a fax to +44 (0)870 9090 714 or emailing hotels@smi-online.co.uk.

Conference programme

8:30 Registration and coffee

9:00 Chairman's Opening Remarks

Michael Keller

Michael Keller, Senior Fellow, siRNA Project Leader, Technical Research and Development (TRD), Novartis

9:10 OPENING KEYNOTE: Nanomedicinal siRNA delivery technologies and pulmonary siRNA delivery systems

Michael Keller

Michael Keller, Senior Fellow, siRNA Project Leader, Technical Research and Development (TRD), Novartis

  • Development of nano- and micro-particle technology for siRNA delivery 
  • Nanotechnology based siRNA formulation in the clinics 
  • Active and passive targeting strategies for siRNA delivery
  • 9:40 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: The promise and challenges of therapeutic siRNA for the treatment of respiratory disease

    Ken Clark

    Ken Clark, Director, Respiratory siRNA DPU, GlaxoSmithKline

  • Respiratory disease is an attractive opportunity for siRNA therapeutics, as molecules can be delivered locally by the inhaled or intranasal route - achieving high concentrations in the target tissue and avoiding the challenges associated with systemic delivery
  • Nevertheless, the airways are adept at responding to and preventing the entry of oligonucleotides - many groups are addressing the challenge of turning the promise of therapeutic siRNA in respiratory disease into a clinical reality
  • This presentation will review progress with respiratory siRNA therapeutics, discuss the challenges of development and consider how GSK is addressing them
  • 10:10 Unique challenges associated with large-scale manufacturing of difference RNA sequences

    Marc Lemaitre

    Marc Lemaitre, Chef Executive Officer, Girindus America

  • Review of the differences between DNA and RNA synthesis and of the impact of modifications into RNA sequences
  • Specifics of annealing on manufacturing and QC of siRNA
  • Keys to a successful manufacturing of Large-Scale siRNA
  • 10:40 Morning Coffee

    11:10 Targeting of junction oncogenes by siRNA

    Claude Paul Malvy

    Claude Paul Malvy, Director, IFSBM, Université Paris-Sud

  • Oncogenes present in cancers with chromosomal translocations
  • Examples: Ewing sarcoma and papillary thyroid carcinoma
  • Animal and human models
  • 11:40 Gene silencing with reduced off-target effects and high potency using UNA-modified siRNA

  • UsiRNAs are siRNAs which contain one or more UNA (Unlocked Nucleic Acid; Unlocked Nucleobase Analog) monomers  
  • Learn how to design highly potent UNA-modified siRNAs (UsiRNAs) which display significantly reduced off-target effects
  • UsiRNAs typically contain strategic UNA monomers to induce strand selectivity and/or to prevent miRNA-type effects
  • UsiRNAs can be modified in the 3'-ends for increased biostability
  • Results from cell culture and in vivo experiments will be shown
  • Jesper Wengel

    Jesper Wengel, Professor, Nucleic Acide Centre, University of Southern Denmark

    Suzy Lena Wengel

    Suzy Lena Wengel, Chef Executive Officer, RiboTask

    12:10 Preclinical development of SYL040012, a siRNA designed for glaucoma treatment

    Victoria González

    Victoria González, Preclinical Manager, Sylentis

  • Introduction to SYL040012
  • R&D in vitro/in vivo data
  • Preclinical development, IMPD submission, clinical update
  • 12:40 Networking Lunch

    14:00 Design and manufacturing of siRNA nanomedicines

    Marie-Andrée Yessine

    Marie-Andrée Yessine, Scientist, OctoPlus Development

  • Formulation strategies - lipid and polymer based delivery systems
  • From concept to market: scaling-up and manufacturing
  • 14:30 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Transfection takes the leap: A 384-well HT Nucleofector® system for genome-wide siRNA screenings

    Herbert Müller-Hartmann

    Herbert Müller-Hartmann, Director R&D, Lonza

  • Efficient mRNA knock-down in hard-to-transfect cell types
  • 384-well format and increased speed for genome-wide screenings
  • Advanced protocols for large experiments using a single cell batch
  • 15:00 Afternoon Tea

    15:30 Combination of oligo configuration and chemical modification provides drug-like properties to RNAi molecules

    Dmitry Samarsky

    Dmitry Samarsky, Vice President of Technology Development, RXi Pharmaceuticals

  • RNAi compounds with improved stability, specificity, potency and distribution
  • Self-delivering RNAi molecules (sd-rxRNA)
  • Novel configurations for RNAi compounds: short duplex or single-oligo
  • 16:00 Cell stress is related to decreased RNAi in mammalian cells

    Georg Sczakiel

    Georg Sczakiel, Professor, Institute for Molecular Medicine, Lübeck University

  • Sub-cellular localisation of Argonaute-2
  • miRNA- and siRNA-induced RNA interference
  • Transfection of oligoneucleotides
  • Stress granules and P-bodies
  • 16:30 GeneICE - Gene Inactivation through Chromatin Engineering

    Mark Eccleston

    Mark Eccleston, Director of Business Development, ValiRx

  • Induced epigenetic regulation of gene expression
  • Genome-wide mapping of nuclease accessible sites for target discovery
  • Intracellular delivery - the final hurdle?
  • 17:00 Chairman’s Closing Remarks and Close of Day One

    8:30 Re-registration and Coffee

    9:00 Morning Chairman's opening remarks

    Marion Jurk

    Marion Jurk, Director, Discovery & Development, Pfizer Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Unit

    9:10 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Pharmaceutical development of a novel systemic oligonucleotide delivery formulation

    Peter Jackson

    Peter Jackson, Chief Operating Officer, Medesis Pharma

  • Buccal delivery (non-invasive)
  • Delivery to difficult tissues (e.g. muscle)
  • Non-toxic formulation (full GLP tox)
  • Stable and manufactured to GMP
  • 9:40 Dicer substrate oligonucleotides: technology and applications

    Roberto Guerciolini

    Roberto Guerciolini, Senior Vice President, Pharmaceutical Development, Dicerna Pharmaceuticals

  • Potency and specificity
  • In vivo results in normal and tumour-bearing animals
  • Delivery options
  • Therapeutic applications
  • 10:10 Patents and Oligonucleotides: the law and the reality

    Lorna Brazell

    Lorna Brazell, Partner, Bird & Bird

  • What is patentable?
  • The problems in RNA patenting - exclusions, sufficiency of disclosure and industrial application
  • What infringes?
  • How to negotiate a workable deal
  • 10:40 Morning Coffee

    11:10 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Immunology of nucleic acids

    Marion Jurk

    Marion Jurk, Director, Discovery & Development, Pfizer Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Unit

  • Immune modulatory effects of siRNAs - and avoiding them
  • Combining modulatory effects with gene knockdown
  • Additional immune modulatory activities
  • 11:40 New approaches for development of nucleic acid based therapeutics: challenges and opportunities in RNA targeting

    Elena Bichenkova

    Elena Bichenkova, Senior Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry, University of Manchester

  • RNA as a potential pharmaceutical target
  • Gene-specific approaches for silencing of disease-relevant mRNA sequences
  • Peptidyl-oligonucleotide biomimetics as a new approach for gene expression knockdown
  • 12:10 Developing a novel antisense technology-based drug

    Karl-Hermann Schlingensiepen

    Karl-Hermann Schlingensiepen, Chef Executive Officer, Antisense Pharma

  • Targeting cancer via TGF-β2
  • Novel approach - directly tackles pathogenic cause
  • Clinical and regulatory experience
  • Risk mitigation in clinical development
  • 12:40 Networking Lunch

    13:55 Afternoon Chairman's welcome

    Dmitry Samarsky

    Dmitry Samarsky, Vice President of Technology Development, RXi Pharmaceuticals

    14:00 Progress in the utility of microRNA as biomarkers

    Sterghios Moschos

    Sterghios Moschos, Principal Scientist, Pfizer

    14:30 Anti-miR inhibition of microRNA function in immune cells

    Aimee Jackson

    Aimee Jackson, Director of Drug Discovery, Regulus Therapeutics

  • Delivery of anti-miRs to immune cells in vivo
  • Measurement of anti-miR target engagement by expression profiling
  • Measurement of anti-miR function by phenotypic assays
  • 15:00 Afternoon Tea

    15:30 The role of miRNAs in the regulation of gene expression

  • Mechanism of action
  • Involvement in human diseases
  • Latest findings from the Cancer Research UK Viral Oncology Group
  • Dimitris Lagos

    Dimitris Lagos, Co-Principal Investigator, UCL Cancer Institute

    16:00 miR-155 regulates the immune system

    Elena Vigorito

    Elena Vigorito, Group Leader, Lymphocyte Signalling & Development, Babraham Institute

  • miR-155 was first described as miRNA with oncogenic potential - a role in the immune system has been established
  • Data showing how miR-155 regulates lymphocyte function
  • miRNAs may have an impact on gene therapies designed to block tumour progression
  • Synthetic oligonucleotides of different chemistries have proven successful for blocking miRNA expression
  • Data showing use of Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNA) to block miR-155 function in lymphocytes in vivo
  • 16:30 miR-155 keeps inflammation in check

    Maurizio Ceppi

    Maurizio Ceppi, Project Team Manager (Group Leader), R&D, Genomic Vision

  • miRNA-profiling of human dendritic cells by microarrays
  • TAB2 is a target of miR-155 in activated human dendritic cells
  • Identification of a miR-155-mediated negative feedback loop that helps to modulate the inflammatory response
  • Targeting miRNA-155 signaling may be useful for decreasing autoimmune-associated inflammation
  • 17:00 Chairman’s Closing Remarks and Close of Day Two



    Protecting the RNAi Technologies

    Protecting the RNAi Technologies

    Crowne Plaza - The City
    30th June 2010
    London, United Kingdom

    Crowne Plaza - The City

    19 New Bridge Road
    London EC4V 6DB
    United Kingdom

    Crowne Plaza - The City



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    CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development’. It is essentially a philosophy, which maintains that in order to be effective, learning should be organised and structured. The most common definition is:

    ‘A commitment to structured skills and knowledge enhancement for Personal or Professional competence’

    CPD is a common requirement of individual membership with professional bodies and Institutes. Increasingly, employers also expect their staff to undertake regular CPD activities.

    Undertaken over a period of time, CPD ensures that educational qualifications do not become obsolete, and allows for best practice and professional standards to be upheld.

    CPD can be undertaken through a variety of learning activities including instructor led training courses, seminars and conferences, e:learning modules or structured reading.


    There are approximately 470 institutes in the UK across all industry sectors, with a collective membership of circa 4 million professionals, and they all expect their members to undertake CPD.

    For some institutes undertaking CPD is mandatory e.g. accountancy and law, and linked to a licence to practice, for others it’s obligatory. By ensuring that their members undertake CPD, the professional bodies seek to ensure that professional standards, legislative awareness and ethical practices are maintained.

    CPD Schemes often run over the period of a year and the institutes generally provide online tools for their members to record and reflect on their CPD activities.


    Professional bodies and Institutes CPD schemes are either structured as ‘Input’ or ‘Output’ based.

    ‘Input’ based schemes list a precise number of CPD hours that individuals must achieve within a given time period. These schemes can also use different ‘currencies’ such as points, merits, units or credits, where an individual must accumulate the number required. These currencies are usually based on time i.e. 1 CPD point = 1 hour of learning.

    ‘Output’ based schemes are learner centred. They require individuals to set learning goals that align to professional competencies, or personal development objectives. These schemes also list different ways to achieve the learning goals e.g. training courses, seminars or e:learning, which enables an individual to complete their CPD through their preferred mode of learning.

    The majority of Input and Output based schemes actively encourage individuals to seek appropriate CPD activities independently.

    As a formal provider of CPD certified activities, SMI Group can provide an indication of the learning benefit gained and the typical completion. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the delegate to evaluate their learning, and record it correctly in line with their professional body’s or employers requirements.


    Increasingly, international and emerging markets are ‘professionalising’ their workforces and looking to the UK to benchmark educational standards. The undertaking of CPD is now increasingly expected of any individual employed within today’s global marketplace.

    CPD Certificates

    We can provide a certificate for all our accredited events. To request a CPD certificate for a conference , workshop, master classes you have attended please email events@smi-online.co.uk

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