AZ & Isis Pharma expanding collaborative gene therapy R&D
- AstraZeneca and Isis are expanding their gene therapy collaboration and focusing on developing cardiovascualr, metabolic, and renal therapies using Isis' antisense technology plaform.
- According to a press release from AZ, "Antisense drugs are short, chemically-modified, single-stranded nucleic acids (antisense oligonucleotides) that have the ability to target any gene product of interest."
- AZ will pay Isis $65 million up front, in addition to milestone and development payments.
The antisense technology platform developed by Isis is becoming increasingly popular as companies seek to take on gene therapy therapeutics, which is considered a challenging area of R&D. Biogen has also teamed up with Isis to develop antisense drugs.
"Antisense-based therapies are rapidly gaining momentum in the clinic and becoming an important component of our early stage pipeline," said AZ EVP Mene Pangalos in a statement. "This collaboration combines the world-class antisense drug research capabilities of Isis with our expertise in cardiovascular, metabolic and renal disease drug discovery and development. By working together we aim to uncover targets and pathways that can be manipulated using antisense drug therapy.”