GlaxoSmithKline and Isis Pharmaceuticals have entered a strategic alliance that will apply Isis’ antisense drug discovery platform to develop new therapeutics against targets for rare and infectious diseases.
Isis will receive a $35 million upfront payment from GSK and is eligible to receive as much as $20 million in milestones per program up to Phase II proof-of-concept. The agreement covers as many as six programs. GSK will have the option to license compounds and will be responsible for all further development and commercialization. Isis will be eligible to receive license fees and milestone payments, totaling nearly $1.5 billion, if all six programs are successful, in addition to royalties on sales from any commercialized product.
"As a platform, the Isis antisense approach offers us an exciting opportunity to target certain severe diseases in a way that has not previously been possible," said Dr. Patrick Vallance, senior vice president and head of Drug Discovery at GSK. "Isis Pharmaceuticals is a leader in antisense technology, and this new alliance will enhance our discovery platform in this promising research area."
"We are excited to be working with GSK to apply antisense technology to these new therapeutic areas. We are particularly excited to work on the novel targets GSK brought to the alliance," said Dr. Stanley T. Crooke, chairman and chief executive officer of Isis. "This alliance is exactly the type of deal we want to do. We retain control of the discovery and early development of our drugs while working together with a very high-quality partner to maximize the value of the drugs in late-stage development and commercialization."