Isis Pharmaceuticals continues to expand into multiple disease sectors, in which the latest move includes the signing of a top level drug development partnership with another drug company. The new partnership with AstraZeneca will get US$65 million to Carlsbad biotech upfront.
The deal also calls for Isis Pharma to discover and work on drugs that are useful in cardiovascular, kidney, and metabolic diseases. They are to develop these drugs using the antisense technology developed by Isis.
Isis will not only receive the upfront payment but will also receive milestone payments for developments and regulatory achievements. The company could possibly get double-digit royalties on the overall sales.
The pharma company is currently making headway in multiple partnerships for drug developments. The list includes Bayer, Roche, and GlaxoSmithKline, along with the newly added AstraZeneca. The CEO Stanley Crooke was questioned over whether his company can handle the workload of multiple partnerships, to which he replied positively and asserted that Isis can get more partnerships.
Crooke also mentioned that Isis Pharma currently lags in kidney therapeutics, an issue that will be resolved with the new partnership bringing more experience for them. He said that they are now looking to leverage their current partnerships to bring the antisense technology into newer sectors. He stated that while Isis is experienced in kidneys, their primary objective of the collaboration is to learn about the kidney ASOs. Isis should know what they are capable of and what they aren’t, the new spaces that they can go to, and the depth to which they can reach.
The company also holds another goal of moving towards a select group of strategic partners in order to get partners that they can trust in taking care of their drugs.