Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS) shares were relatively flat on Wednesday after the company announced a new collaboration with Roche to develop IONIS-FB-LRx for the treatment of complement-mediated diseases.
Ultimately, this collaboration will leverage Ionis’s leadership in RNA-targeted therapeutics to develop IONIS-FB-LRx targeting Factor B (FB) for a broad range of diseases.
The first indication the two companies will pursue is the treatment of patients with geographic atrophy (GA), the advanced stage of dry age-related macular degeneration. A Phase 2 study in patients with GA is planned to begin in early 2019.
In the Phase 1 study in 54 healthy volunteers, IONIS-FB-LRx reduced plasma FB and was safe and well tolerated.
Brett P. Monia, chief operating officer at Ionis, commented:
Ionis is committed to bringing new therapies to patients living with unmet medical needs. The collaboration is designed to maximize both the potential benefit to patients and the likelihood of success, while optimizing our commercial participation in IONIS-FB-LRx. This new agreement builds upon our productive relationship with Roche on IONIS-HTTRx (RG6042), an antisense drug for the treatment of people with Huntington’s disease. Our antisense technology is the first to demonstrate robust, dose-dependent and sustained reduction of FB in a clinical study. We believe that we have found the right partner whose experience in retinal disease drug development and commercialization will enhance our efforts to effectively develop IONIS-FB-LRx for patients who currently have no adequate treatment options.
Shares of Ionis were last seen at $44.93, with a consensus analyst price target of $56.42 and a 52-week trading range of $39.07 to $65.51.