Isis earns US$3m payment as GSK collaboration expands


Isis’ antisense drug discovery platform used to discover new therapeutics for rare diseases

US-based Isis Pharmaceuticals has earned a US$3m payment from GlaxoSmithKline related to the initiation of a sixth programme under its collaboration to discover and develop drugs to treat rare and infectious diseases. This expansion follows the identification of the first development candidate from the collaboration in July 2010.

‘In just over a year into this alliance, we have identified our first development candidate, ISIS-TTRRx, which is ready to begin a Phase 1 clinical study,’ said Lynne Parshall, chief operating officer and cfo of Isis.

Isis entered into an agreement with GSK in March 2010 to develop RNA therapeutics. With the latest payment, Isis has earned $38m in upfront payments from GSK.

Under the terms of the agreement, Isis is eligible to receive licence fees and milestone payments totalling nearly $1.5bn if all six programmes are successfully developed for one or more indications.

Isis is eligible to receive on average up to $20m in milestone payments per programme up to Phase 2 proof-of-concept. GSK will have the option to license compounds at proof-of-concept and will be responsible for all further development and commercialisation.

The alliance applies Isis’ antisense drug discovery platform to discover and develop new therapeutics against targets for rare and serious diseases, including infectious diseases and some conditions causing blindness.