Carlsbad drugmaker Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. has earned $28 million as a result of its partnership with global biopharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca Plc on an anti-cancer drug.
The payout followed AstraZeneca’s completion of studies that supported an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the license of a compound developed by Ionis called IONIS-KRAS-2.5Rx.
The drug is designed to directly target one of the most frequently mutated genes in cancer, called KRAS. This drug will be the first to enter clinical development that directly targets KRAS, regardless of mutation type, according to Ionis.
AstraZeneca will be responsible for further developing and commercializing the drug.
“Our partner AstraZeneca has extensive experience in successfully developing and commercializing drugs to treat cancer and we look forward to working with them to advance this innovative cancer treatment through clinical development," Brett Monia, senior vice president of drug discovery at Ionis, said in a statement.
As the drug advances in development, Ionis is eligible to receive up to $137 million for additional development and regulatory milestone payments. In addition, Ionis is eligible to receive up to low double-digit royalties from sales of the drug.
Ionis is one of San Diego’s largest drugmakers, with a market cap of $6.26 billion.