Deals

J&J goes back to Ionis for its second experimental pill for a GI autoimmune disease

Almost three years after J&J $JNJ handed over $35 million in cash and promised up to $800 million in milestones to cozy up to the antisense research team at Ionis, the pharma giant has stepped back up for its second RNA development deal.

J&J is spending $5 million to bag rights to IONIS-JBI2-2.5Rx, which now goes into their gastrointestinal pipeline for autoimmune disease, though the companies are keeping the target under wraps for now.

Frank Bennett

This has been a big year for Ionis $IONS, which is likely going head-to-head with Alnylam over hereditary ATTR (hATTR) amyloidosis — though analysts give Alnylam a big edge in that market battle.

J&J spent $10 million in the summer of last year to gain IONIS-JBI1-2.5Rx, an oral drug for a GI autoimmune disease.

“We are pleased that IONIS-JBI2-2.5Rx is advancing into development because we believe this drug has the potential to treat autoimmune disorders in the GI tract that are underserved with current therapies,” said Frank Bennett, senior vice president of research at Ionis Pharmaceuticals. “Our collaboration with Janssen has been very productive. This is the second drug Janssen has licensed in little over a year, which is the direct result of the speed and efficiency of our antisense technology.”


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