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Isis Signs Bristol Deal

They'll collaborate on cholesterol drugs.

Isis Pharmaceuticals


signed a cardiovascular drug development program with

Bristol-Myers Squibb

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Carlsbad, Calif.-based Isis will collaborate with Bristol on antisense drugs targeting proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin 9, a substance that helps regulate the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream.

Isis licensed to Bristol-Myers Squibb exclusive access to its PCSK9 research program. While Bristol-Myers Squibb will fund all activities under the collaboration, both companies will be responsible for preclinical development. Bristol-Myers Squibb will be responsible for clinical development, regulatory, and commercialization activities. In addition, Bristol-Myers Squibb will work with Isis to leverage Isis' extensive oligonucleotide medicinal chemistry expertise for identification of follow-on PCSK9 antisense drugs with advanced antisense chemistries that may offer even greater potency and oral bioavailability.

Bristol-Myers Squibb will pay Isis a $15 million upfront licensing fee, and will provide Isis with at least $9 million in research funding over a period of three years. Isis will also receive up to $168 million for the achievement of prespecified development and regulatory milestones for the first drug in the collaboration, as well as additional milestones associated with development of follow-on compounds. Bristol-Myers Squibb will also pay Isis royalties on sales of products resulting from the collaboration.