Santaris Pharma, a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on disease-related mRNAs and microRNAs, has formed a worldwide strategic alliance with Bristol-Myers Squibb to discover and develop novel medicines using Santaris Pharma's proprietary Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) Drug Platform.
Santaris Pharma will receive an upfront payment of $10 million, up to $90 million in potential milestone payments per product and funding of ongoing discovery and research activities. In addition, Santaris Pharma will be eligible to receive royalties on the worldwide sales of all medicines arising from the alliance.
"We are delighted to welcome Bristol-Myers Squibb as a new partner. This strategic alliance further consolidates Santaris Pharma's leadership in the field of oligonucleotide therapeutics," said Henrik Stage, president and CEO of Santaris Pharma.
Dr. Henrik Oerum, chief scientific officer and vice president of business development, Santaris, said, "We are proud and honored that Bristol-Myers Squibb has chosen Santaris Pharma as their partner. We are confident that the unique features of the LNA Drug platform can achieve clinical breakthroughs and look forward to working closely with the Bristol-Myers Squibb team."
The LNA Drug Platform and Drug Discovery Engine developed by Santaris Pharma combines the company's proprietary LNA chemistry with its highly specialized and targeted drug development capabilities to rapidly deliver LNA-based drug candidates against RNA targets, both mRNA and microRNA, for a range of diseases including infectious and inflammatory diseases, cardiometabolic disorders, cancer and rare genetic disorders. The LNA Drug Platform overcomes the limitations of earlier antisense and siRNA technologies to deliver potent single-stranded LNA-based drug candidates across a multitude of disease states. The most important features of LNA-based drugs include excellent specificity providing optimal targeting; increased affinity to targets providing improved potency; and favorable pharmacokinetic and tissue-penetrating properties that allow systemic delivery of these drugs without complex and potentially troublesome delivery vehicles.