Carlsbad-based Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. has teamed up with British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca PLC to develop drugs to treat cancer. Isis will receive $25 million upfront and another $6 million in the second quarter of 2013 if the research continues.

In exchange, Isis has given AstraZeneca an exclusive license to develop and commercialize a lymphoma-fighting drug called Isis-Stat3 that is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial. Isis said that it has found the drug, which inhibits a protein that fuels cancer growth, to be safe and effective.

“AstraZeneca’s expertise in oncology translational science and our global capabilities in development and commercialization of oncology products and Isis’ innovative approach to discovering novel medicines reflect a common goal of bringing new medicines to cancer patients,” said Susan Galbraith, head of the AstraZeneca Oncology Innovative Medicines Unit in a statement.

This follows on the heels of another multimillion dollar partnership. On Monday, Isis announced its third contract this year with Weston, Mass.-based Biogen Idec Inc. Isis received $30 million upfront to develop drugs for three neurological diseases, and could receive up to $600 million in royalties if the drugs are sold commercially.

— SDBJ Staff Report