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AstraZeneca and Isis broaden antisense deal

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

AstraZeneca and Isis Pharmaceuticals have expanded their alliance in the field of antisense therapies, with the UK major paying $65m up front to Isis as part of the agreement. They will collaborate to discover and develop new treatments for cardiovascular, metabolic and renal diseases, in a move that extends Isis's R&D into kidney disease, a new area for the company. The deal will also include development and regulatory milestones for each program that advances, as well as double-digit tiered royalties on net sales of any resulting products that are ultimately commercialized. The two companies first partnered to develop antisense therapies against cancer targets in 2012, in a collaboration that was worth $31m up front to Isis but which the company boasted could be ultimately worth in excess of $1bn. The following year that deal was expanded to include metabolic and cardiovascular indications. They later expanded their partnership to discover and develop novel delivery methods for antisense oligonucleotides in November 2014. The lead compound in the cancer collaboration, AZD9150/ISIS-STAT3-2.5Rx, targeting STAT3, has reached Phase II.

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