Roche puts down $75M to sign on as new partner for Ionis’ dry AMD drug, following Huntington’s deal

Ionis is teaming up with Roche again, this time to develop an antisense drug for dry AMD with an upfront payment of $75 million to the biotech and up to $684 million more possible on the backend.

Ionis shares $IONS spiked briefly on the news.

Brett Monia

Initially optioned to GSK, IONIS-FB-LRx was dumped alongside inotersen during GSK’s rare disease pipeline upheaval last summer. With the bulk of its late-stage pipeline housed at Akcea, Ionis has been steadily executing mid-stage deals that allow pharma partners, including AstraZeneca and Bayer, to take over the final haul to regulators. 

“The collaboration is designed to maximize both the potential benefit to patients and the likelihood of success, while optimizing our commercial participation in IONIS-FB-LRx. This new agreement builds upon our productive relationship with Roche on IONIS-HTTRx (RG6042), an antisense drug for the treatment of people with Huntington’s disease,” said Brett Monia, COO at Ionis.

Once Ionis is through with a planned Phase II study for dry AMD and additional work on another rare severe renal indication, Roche will have an option to license the drug altogether.

With contribution from Amber Tong

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Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
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