GlaxoSmithKline has added another drug candidate to its agreement with Isis Pharmaceuticals earning Isis $7 million in milestone payments. In March 2010 the two companies entered into an antisense collaboration potentially worth over $35 million that included up to six programs and focused on developing new therapeutics against targets for rare and/or serious diseases.

According to the company, this latest candidate, ISIS-GSK3Rx, was designed to inhibit the production of an undisclosed target to treat a common viral infection. Isis will develop ISIS-GSK3Rx to Phase II  after which GSK has an exclusive option to in-license the program and further develop and commercialize the asset.

As part of the agreement, Isis is eligible to receive additional prelicensing milestone payments from GSK as ISIS-GSK3Rx advances and double-digit royalties on sales of the candidate.

In July, Isis won a $2 million milestone payment from GSK for the advancement of an ongoing Phase II/III study of ISIS-TTRRx, an antisense drug being developed by the firms as part of the alliance for the rare genetic disease transthyretin amyloidosis. In the deal, Isis received $20 million in up-front and milestone payments before the dosing of the first patient in the study, including a $7.5 million payment it earned in February upon initiation of the trial.

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