Bristol-Myers Squibb is teaming up with Santaris Pharma to discover and develop novel medicines using Santaris Pharma’s locked nucleic acid (LNA) drug platform. Santaris Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing medicines targeted to disease-related mRNAs and microRNAs.

Santaris Pharma will receive an up-front payment of $10 million, up to $90 million in potential milestone payments per product, and funding of ongoing discovery and research activities. In addition, Santaris Pharma will be eligible to receive royalties on the worldwide sales of all medicines arising from the alliance.

The LNA drug platform and drug discovery engine developed by Santaris Pharma combines the company’s LNA chemistry with its targeted drug development capabilities to deliver LNA-based drug candidates against RNA targets, both mRNA and microRNA, for a range of diseases including infectious and inflammatory diseases, cardiometabolic disorders, cancer, and rare genetic disorders. The LNA drug platform, according to Santaris, overcomes the limitations of earlier antisense and siRNA technologies to deliver potent single-stranded LNA-based drug candidates across a multitude of disease states.

“We are confident that the unique features of the LNA Drug platform can achieve clinical breakthroughs and look forward to working closely with the Bristol-Myers Squibb team,” Henrik Oerum, Ph.D., Santaris Pharma’s CSO and vp, business development commented.

Santaris also have an alliance with miRagen Therapeutics going back to June of 2010 to develop microRNA-targeted medicines for the treatment of cardiovascular disease using the LNA drug platform. Back in January of this year, they expanded that alliance, bringing the total number of microRNA targets under the agreement to ten.

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