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Isis in diabetes drug development deal with Ortho-McNeil

Isis Pharmaceuticals will participate in a tie up with Ortho-McNeil to discover, develop and commercialise antisense drugs for type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases

US-based Isis Pharmaceuticals has revealed it will participate in a tie up with Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Ortho-McNeil, to discover, develop and commercialise antisense drugs for type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases, such as obesity.

Per the agreement, Isis will allow Ortho-McNeil to develop and commercialise worldwide rights to two of its diabetes development candidates, ISIS 325568 and ISIS 377131.

Ortho-McNeil will provide funding to Isis to support the joint discovery of novel drugs. When this phase completes, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development (J&JPRD) will continue drug development of the candidates.

For the period of the collaboration, Ortho-McNeil will pay Isis an upfront licensing fee of USD 45m and provide the company with R&D funding.

Isis also revealed it might receive over USD 230m in milestone payments, if any products developed by the collaboration win regulatory approval. The company will receive royalties on any sales.

Isis recently formed a joint venture company called Regulus Therapeutics with Alnylam to commercialise microRNA-derived (miRN) drugs in the US.

Regulus will be controlled by a separate management team, board of directors and scientific advisory board. The new firm will be chaired by Nobel Prize winner, David Baltimore.

30th September 2008

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