CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) – Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. said it will work with British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC to develop treatments for rare diseases in a partnership that could bring Isis almost $1.5 billion in payments.
Isis develops drugs that use antisense technology, which stops the production of disease-causing proteins by blocking messenger RNA, the molecule that transfers genetic information. Isis will work with GlaxoSmithKline on as many as six drugs to treat unspecified rare and serious conditions, including infectious illnesses and diseases that can cause blindness.
In morning trading, Isis stock jumped $1.01, or nearly 10 percent, to $11.31. GlaxoSmithKline’s U.S.-listed shares rose 5 cents to $38.28.
GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world’s largest drugmakers, will pay Isis $35 million upfront. Isis will handle early research and development on the drug candidates, and it could get about $20 million per program if the drugs reach mid-stage testing.
At that time, GlaxoSmithKline will have the option to license the drugs and take over all further development and marketing. Isis said total milestone payments would be close to $1.5 billion if development of all six programs is successful. If any of the drugs are approved and reach the market, Isis will receive royalty payments of up to 10 percent on sales.
Since 2008, GlaxoSmithKline has worked with Isis joint venture Regulus Therapeutics on treatments for inflammatory diseases. Last month, the companies expanded that partnership to include drug candidates for hepatitis C. Regulus is a joint venture between Isis and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Isis’ other partners include Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Genzyme Corp.
Date: March 31, 2010
Source: Associated Press