Isis pockets $45M in pact with J&J subsidiary

Isis Pharmaceuticals is pocketing an upfront payment of $45 million after forging a licensing and commercialization deal with Ortho-McNeil, a J&J company. The pact includes a potential payout of $230 million for the successful development of new diabetes drugs. Ortho-McNeil gets the worldwide rights to ISIS 325568 and ISIS 377131 while Isis gets a deep-pocket partner to fund additional research into therapies for metabolic disorders like diabetes and obesity. This is the kind of big payout that thrills biotech investors. Isis shares surged 11 percent in pre-market trading. Prior to closing the transaction, Isis said it plans to purchase the equity in Symphony GenIsis and reacquire the intellectual property related to the GCGR and GCCR programs as well as regain full ownership of ISIS 301012, the company's lipid-lowering drug targeting Apolipoprotein B-100.

"We look forward to working with Ortho-McNeil and J&JPRD to advance our glucagon receptor and glucocorticoid receptor drugs through the clinic and to develop additional drugs against other promising targets," said Lynne Parshall, J.D., Isis' CFO.

- see the release from Isis for more

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