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Glaxo, Regulus Team on MicroRNA R&D

Regulus could receive up to $144.5 million in future milestones, and also tiered royalties on sales on each of four microRNA targeted therapeutics

Updated from 9:32 a.m. EDT

Regulus Therapeutics, a joint venture between

Alnylam

(ALNY) - Get Report

and

Isis

(ISIS)

said early Thursday that it's signed a potentially lucrative deal with

GlaxoSmithKline

(GSK) - Get Report

for four microRNA (miRNA) targeted therapeutics for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Glaxo will pay the pair $20 million upfront in a $15 million option fee and a $5 million note that will convert into Regulus stock under the certain conditions. On top of that, Regulus could receive up to $144.5 million in future milestones, and also tiered royalties on sales on each of four targeted therapeutics.

MiRNAs are a class of small RNAs that are believed to regulate the expression of a large number of human genes. The presence or absence of certain miRNAs has been linked to human diseases, including cancer and metabolic disorders.

Regulus will be responsible for finding and developing miRNA antagonists. Upon exercising an option, Glaxo will have exclusive license to any drugs that come from the programs. Regulus will be able to further develop any of those that Glaxo does not.

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Shares of Isis climbed 47 cents, or 2.8%, to $17, while shares of Alnylam were flat at $24.40 and Glaxo's shares ticked up 30 cents, or 0.7%, to $42.91 in premarket trading.

Know What You Own:

Glaxo operates in the biotechnology and healthcare sector, and some of the other stocks in its field include

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

,

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Report

and

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

. These stocks were recently trading at $42.85, -1.29%, $21.50, -2.18% and $20.30, -3.79% respectively. For more on the value of knowing what you own, visit TheStreet.com's

Investing A-to-Z

section.