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Developments for Ionis Pharmaceuticals after 1Q17

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Jun. 13 2017, Updated 9:06 a.m. ET

Ionis’s recent developments

As discussed earlier, Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS) is focused on the development of drugs for the treatment of diseases with limited or no therapeutic options.

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Corporate developments

  • In April 2017, Ionis entered into a collaborative agreement with Suzhou Ribo Life Science for the development and commercialization of RNA[1.ribonucleic acid]-targeted therapeutics in China.
  • In February 2017, Ionis and Akcea Therapeutics entered into a collaborative agreement with Novartis (NVS) for the development and commercialization of drugs AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx and AKCEA-APOCIII-LRx.

Drug developments

  • On June 1, 2017, Ionis announced that the European Commission had approved the drug Spinraza (nusinersen) for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy. The drug was co-developed in collaboration with Biogen (BIIB).
  • On May 15, 2017, Ionis announced that NEURO-TTR, the phase III study evaluating the drug IONIS-TTR Rx (inotersen) for the treatment of patients with familial amyloid polyneuropathy, had met its primary endpoints.
  • On March 30, 2017, Akcea Therapeutics announced the initiation of a phase II study evaluating AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx for the treatment of patients with hyperlipoproteinemia and established cardiovascular disease.

To divest company-specific risks, investors could consider funds such as the VanEck Vectors Biotech ETF (BBH) which has a 1.1% exposure to Ionis Pharmaceuticals. BBH also has a 4.3% exposure to BioMarin (BMRN), a 6.9% exposure to Biogen (BIIB), and a 4.4% exposure to Incyte (INCY).

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