CARLSBAD, Calif., July 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Ionis
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS) today announced that it
has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Bicycle
Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: BCYC) to increase the delivery
capabilities of Ionis' advanced LIgand Conjugated
Antisense (LICA) medicines. The agreement provides Ionis
exclusive access to Bicycle's proprietary macrocyclic peptides,
referred to as Bicycles, to design LICAs that target
transferrin receptor 1 for use with oligonucleotides. This LICA
strategy has demonstrated both the improved delivery of antisense
medicines to muscle tissue, including cardiac muscle, as well as
the potential to cross the blood brain barrier.
Bicycle Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical
company developing a novel class of medicines, Bicycles, for
diseases that are underserved by existing therapeutics.
Bicycles are fully synthetic short peptides constrained with
small molecule scaffolds to form two loops that stabilize their
structural geometry. This constraint facilitates target binding
with high affinity and selectivity, making Bicycles
attractive candidates for drug development.
"One of our key strategic objectives is to expand our drug
discovery capabilities. The agreement with Bicycle Therapeutics
represents a strategic addition to our expanding LICA platform,
giving us the potential to meaningfully expand our drug discovery
capabilities and deliver many more transformational medicines to
the market," said Brett P. Monia,
Ph.D., Ionis' chief executive officer. "We believe that investing
in technologies like Bicycle's cutting-edge transferrin receptor
1-targeting peptides will enhance our ability to design medicines
to tackle devastating diseases in need of better treatment
"Our collaboration with Bicycle will accelerate Ionis' progress
toward creating best-in-class, low molecular weight ligands for
muscle-specific targeted delivery," said Eric E. Swayze, Ph.D., executive vice president
of research at Ionis. "This approach offers several potential
advantages over related strategies in development, including
increased potency, more convenient administration, less complex
manufacturing processes and reduced cost of goods." Dr. Swayze
added, "We are pleased with the data we have generated to date and
look forward to incorporating optimized Bicycle peptides into our
LICA delivery platform."
Under terms of the agreement, Ionis obtained an exclusive
license to Bicycle's technology covering the entire class of
transferrin receptor 1 Bicycles for use in targeted delivery
of oligonucleotide drugs. Ionis made a $45
million upfront payment to Bicycle which included a license
fee, an option fee, and an $11
million equity investment in Bicycle. Bicycle will be
eligible to earn development and regulatory milestone payments on a
program-by-program basis and royalties on product sales.
About Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
For more than 30 years, Ionis has been the leader in
RNA-targeted therapy, pioneering new markets and changing standards
of care with its novel antisense technology. Ionis currently has
three marketed medicines and a premier late-stage pipeline
highlighted by industry-leading neurological and cardiometabolic
franchises. Our scientific innovation began and continues with the
knowledge that sick people depend on us, which fuels our vision of
becoming one of the most successful biotechnology companies.
To learn more about Ionis visit www.ionispharma.com and follow
us on Twitter @ionispharma.
Ionis' Forward-looking Statement
This press release includes forward-looking statements regarding
Ionis' business and the therapeutic and commercial potential of
Ionis' technologies and products in development. Any statement
describing Ionis' goals, expectations, financial or other
projections, intentions or beliefs is a forward-looking statement
and should be considered an at-risk statement. Such statements are
subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including those related
to the impact COVID-19 could have on our business, and including
but not limited to those related to our commercial products and the
medicines in our pipeline, and particularly those inherent in the
process of discovering, developing and commercializing medicines
that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics, and in
the endeavor of building a business around such medicines. Ionis'
forward-looking statements also involve assumptions that, if they
never materialize or prove correct, could cause its results to
differ materially from those expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements. Although Ionis' forward-looking
statements reflect the good faith judgment of its management, these
statements are based only on facts and factors currently known by
Ionis. As a result, you are cautioned not to rely on these
forward-looking statements. These and other risks concerning Ionis'
programs are described in additional detail in Ionis' annual report
on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31,
2020, and the most recent Form 10-Q quarterly filing, which
are on file with the SEC. Copies of these and other documents are
available from the Company.
In this press release, unless the context requires otherwise,
"Ionis," "Company," "we," "our," and "us" refers to Ionis
Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiaries.
Ionis Pharmaceuticals® is a trademark of Ionis Pharmaceuticals,
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SOURCE Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.