J&J’s Janssen Makes Milestone Payment For Antisense Drug

Carlsbad, California-based Ionis Pharmaceuticals has received a $10-million payment from Janssen Biotech, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, upon the licensing of IONIS-JBI1-2.5Rx, an orally delivered antisense drug for gastrointestinal autoimmune disease. Janssen will assume all global development as well as regulatory and commercialization responsibilities for the drug once Ionis completes investigational-new-drug-enabling studies.

The milestone payment is part of an earlier agreement signed by the two companies in early 2015. Under that agreement, which covers three programs, Ionis is eligible to receive up to nearly $800 million in development, regulatory, and sales milestone payments and license fees. In addition, Ionis is eligible to receive tiered royalties on sales from products commercialized.

Ionis conducts RNA-targeted drug discovery and development for severe and rare diseases using its antisense technology. Drugs currently in Phase III development include volanesorsen for familial chylomicronemia syndrome or familial partial lipodystrophy, which Ionis is developing and plans to commercialize through its wholly owned subsidiary, Akcea Therapeutics; IONIS-TTRRx for transthyretin amyloidosis, which Ionis is developing with GlaxoSmithKline; and nusinersen for infants and children with spinal muscular atrophy, which the company is developing with Biogen.

Source: Ionis Pharma

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