GSK and Isis to develop treatments for infectious diseases


Agreement will use Isis’s antisense drug discovery platform

GlaxoSmithKline and Isis Pharmaceuticals have entered an agreement worth up to US$1.5bn that will apply the Isis antisense drug discovery platform to develop new treatments for infectious diseases.

Under the deal, Isis will receive an upfront payment of US$35m from GSK and will be eligible to receive on average up to $20m per programme up to Phase 2 proof-of-concept (PoC) as milestone payments.

Isis will also be eligible to receive license fees and milestone payments of approximately $1.5bn.

GSK will have the option to license compounds, and will be responsible for further development and marketing.

RNA-targeted therapeutics, or antisense therapies target the proteins involved in disease processes through the RNA that is involved in building these proteins. The Isis discovery platform develops specific therapies that bind to messenger RNA (mRNA) and inhibit the production of disease-causing proteins. Isis recently announced data from a Phase 3 trial in heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia patients that demonstrated the therapeutic effect of this approach.

‘This alliance is exactly the type of deal we want to do,’ said Stanley Crooke, chairman and chief executive of Isis.

‘We retain control of the discovery and early development of our drugs while working together with a very high-quality partner to maximise the value of the drugs in late-stage development and commercialisation.’