In what was surely music to Santaris’ ear, Shire extended an existing agreement, saying, “We are delighted with our partnership with Santaris, whose expertise and capabilities in LNA antisense therapy complement Shire’s drug discovery and development strengths.”
The long-term partners have been working together in the rare genetic disease space since 2009. Under the terms of the extended agreement, Shire will have the right to nominate additional collaboration targets for drug discovery and development. Santaris will receive an upfront payment and, consistent with the initial agreement, is eligible for research support and preclinical, clinical, and sales milestones and royalties on each product emerging from the collaboration.
The original deal provided Santaris with early-stage payments of $6.5 million covering technology access, exclusivity for three predefined targets and initial discovery funding, and an additional early-stage payment of $13.5 million upon successful completion of certain initial studies.
In addition to the initial payments under the 2009 contract, Santaris received funding for all additional discovery activities to be performed and payments on Shire’s nomination of up to two additional targets, and was eligible to receive development, regulatory, and sales-related milestone payments of up to $72 million for each of the potential five drug candidates and customary royalties on the worldwide sales of commercialized products arising from the alliance.
With its LNA Drug Platform and Drug Discovery Engine, Santaris combines LNA chemistry with specialized and targeted drug development capabilities to deliver LNA-based drug candidates against RNA targets, both mRNA and microRNA, for a range of diseases including cardiometabolic disorders, infectious and inflammatory diseases, cancer, and rare genetic disorders.