Isis Pharmaceuticals has earned a $5 million milestone payment from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) related to the designation of ISIS-GSK4Rx, an antisense drug designed to treat an undisclosed ocular disease, as a development candidate.
As a part of the alliance, Isis is eligible to earn additional prelicensing milestone payments from GSK as ISIS-GSK4Rx advances. The company will develop ISIS-GSK4Rx to Phase II proof-of-concept, at which time GSK has the option to exclusively license it. Isis is also eligible to receive double-digit royalties on sales of the candidate.
Isis and GSK’s antisense collaboration began in March 2010 when GSK paid Isis $35 million upfront to discover new antisense drugs against serious rare disorders including infectious diseases and specific conditions causing blindness. Last month, GSK added ISIS-GSK3Rx to the program, earning Isis $7 million in milestone payments.
Collaboration between the two firms has resulted in three antisense drugs in Isis’ pipeline. In July, the company 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 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.