Roche has signed an agreement to attain exclusive global rights to Ionis Pharmaceuticals’ two early-stage programmes for Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease (HD). 

Ionis will be responsible for progressing the two undisclosed ribonucleic acid (RNA)-targeting programmes through pre-clinical studies.

Roche will subsequently oversee the clinical development, production and commercialisation activities linked to the therapies that will be developed.

Ionis is entitled to receive an upfront payment of $60m (SFr55.25m) from Roche.

Roche will also make development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, as well as tiered royalty payments, to Ionis.

The alliance will utilise the capabilities of Ionis in the discovery of medicines that target the root cause of the two central nervous system disorders.

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By GlobalData

The worldwide expertise of Roche in developing and commercialising treatments for diseases impacting the nervous system will also be leveraged by both parties. 

Ionis CEO Brett Monia stated: “With this new collaboration, we are joining forces to accelerate the discovery and development of novel therapies for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease globally. 

“Collaborating on these two programmes enables Ionis to advance our wholly owned programmes, including those in neurology, aligned with our strategic priorities.”

Ionis and Roche initially partnered in 2013 for the former’s investigational HD therapy, tominersen.

In 2018, Ionis and Roche signed a further deal to develop a treatment for IgA nephropathy and geographic atrophy.

Ionis and Novartis signed a collaboration and licence deal in August 2023 to advance a programme for cardiovascular disease.