GlaxoSmithKline inks a back-loaded $100M deal with Idera for renal R&D

GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) is taking a gamble on Idera Pharmaceuticals' ($IDRA) antisense drug technology, promising up to $100 million in a collaboration focused on renal disease.

Under the deal, GSK is paying its partner $2.5 million up front and promising as much as $100 million more in development milestones in exchange for the rights to an undisclosed number of early-stage treatments targeting kidney disorders, the companies said. Idera is also in line for tiered royalties of as much as 5% if any resulting products clear more than $500 million in annual sales.

The focus of the pairing is Idera's antisense technology, which allows the company to craft treatments that interfere with RNA communication and alter genetic expression, thereby treating diseases that result from gene defects. Idera says its platform, which has yet to yield a clinical candidate, has the potential to overcome some of the deliverability and tolerability issues that have hampered antisense development in the past.

"Advances in our understanding of chronic kidney disease have opened up new treatment opportunities," GSK Senior Vice President John Lepore said in a statement. "Idera's antisense platform offers a new path to explore whether gene-silencing technology can help stop or slow chronic kidney disease."

Idera's proprietary R&D is largely focused on blocking the body's toll-like receptors, or TLRs, which play a role in autoimmune diseases and blood disorders. The company's lead drug is IMO-8400, a TLR antagonist Idera is now studying in a Phase II trial in the rare inflammatory ailment dermatomyositis, a Phase I/II study in the orphan blood cancer Waldenström's macroglobulinemia and a Phase I/II trial against diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

- read the statement