The new collaboration builds on a broad, existing relationship between the two companies, and supports AstraZeneca’s strategic approach in these therapeutic areas using novel RNA-targeted treatments. It also enables Isis Pharmaceuticals to extend use of its antisense technology to kidney diseases.
Antisense drugs are short, chemically modified, single-stranded nucleic acids (antisense oligonucleotides) that have the ability to target any gene product of interest. They offer new opportunities for therapeutic intervention because they act inside the cell to influence protein production by targeting RNA to prevent the production of disease-causing proteins, increase the production of proteins deficient in disease, or target toxic RNAs that are unable to generate proteins.
AstraZeneca will pay an upfront fee of $65 million to Isis Pharmaceuticals, plus development and regulatory milestones for each program that AstraZeneca advances to clinical development. Isis Pharmaceuticals also is eligible to earn tiered double-digit royalties on annual net sales for each program.
This transaction is subject to clearances under the Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.