IONIS-AZ6-2.5-L is being developed for the treatment of NASH patients by inhibiting an undisclosed target.
The drug candidate is part of a strategic collaboration between AstraZeneca and Ionis aimed at developing new drugs for cardiovascular, renal and metabolic diseases.
In conjunction with this milestone, AstraZeneca will pay a $30m licence fee to Ionis. AstraZeneca will carry out the further development and commercialisation activities of IONIS-AZ6-2.5-L.
Ionis CEO and antisense drug discovery and translational medicine senior vice-president Brett Monia said: “IONIS-AZ6-2.5-L incorporates many of the advancements we have made in antisense technology, including our LIgand-Conjugated Antisense (LICA) and Generation 2.5 chemistry, and is the second drug in our collaboration to incorporate both modifications.”
Ionis is eligible to receive up to $300m upon reaching development and regulatory milestones. The company may also receive tiered royalties from sales.
AstraZeneca and Ionis are also working towards the discovery and development of antisense drugs for the treatment of cancer.
Monia said: “AstraZeneca has played a strategic role in advancing this programme forward by providing both preclinical and development expertise in NASH that has contributed to the rapid advance of this drug into development.
“We look forward to AstraZeneca moving this programme swiftly into clinical testing and ultimately to the market.”