Pfizer, Akcea in $1.3-Billion-Plus Pact for Investigative Antisense Therapy

Pfizer and Akcea Therapeutics, an affiliate of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, specializing in drugs for rare diseases, have entered into an exclusive license agreement for AKCEA-ANGPTL3-LRx, an investigational antisense therapy for patients with certain cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, in a deal worth more than $1.3 billion.

Under the agreement, Akcea and Ionis will receive a $250-million upfront license fee, which will be split equally between the two companies. Akcea will settle its $125-million obligation to Ionis in Akcea common stock. Akcea and Ionis are also eligible to receive development, regulatory and sales milestone payments of up to $1.3 billion and tiered, double-digit royalties on annual worldwide net sales following marketing approval of AKCEA-ANGPTL3-LRx. Future milestone payments and royalties will be split equally between Akcea and Ionis.

Pfizer is responsible for all development and regulatory activities and costs beyond those associated with the ongoing Phase II study. Prior to regulatory filing for marketing approval, Akcea has the right to its option to participate in certain commercialization activities with Pfizer in the US and certain additional markets on pre-defined terms and based on meeting pre-defined criteria.

AKCEA-ANGPTL3-LRX is designed to reduce the production of angiopoietin-like 3 (ANGPTL3) protein in the liver, a regulator of triglycerides, cholesterol, glucose and energy metabolism. The therapy is currently being evaluated in a Phase II study in patients with Type 2 diabetes, hypertriglyceridemia, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Source: Pfizer, Akcea Therapeutics

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