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Must-Know Developments for Ionis Pharmaceuticals

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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

Some of the major corporate developments include the following:

  • Akcea Therapeutics raised ~$190 million through an initial public offering, $50 million from Novartis (NVS) as a strategic investment, and $25 million as a strategic investment from Ionis Pharmaceuticals during 2Q17.
  • Ionis entered a collaborative agreement with Suzhou Ribo Life Science for the development and commercialization of RNA-targeted therapeutics in China in April 2017.

Drug developments

  • On August 11, 2017, Ionis announced that the company had retained all rights for the drugs Inotersen and IONIS-FB-L Rx. The company plans to file for the marketing authorization for Inotersen by the end of 2017 and the commercial launch of Inotersen by 2018.
  • On July 27, 2017, Akcea and Ionis submitted the marketing authorization application for Volanesorsen to the European Medicines Agency for the use of Volanesorsen for the treatment of patients with familial chylomicronemia syndrome.
  • On June 1, 2017, Ionis announced that the European Commission approved the drug Spinraza (nusinersen) for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy. The drug was codeveloped in collaboration with Biogen (BIIB).
  • On May 15, 2017, Ionis announced that NEURO-TTR, the phase III study evaluating the drug IONIS-TTR (inotersen) for the treatment of patients with familial amyloid polyneuropathy, met its primary end points.

To divest company-specific risks, investors can consider ETFs like the ProShares Ultra NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF (BIB), which holds 0.7% of its total assets in Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS). BIB also holds 8.6% in Biogen (BIIB), 8.4% in Gilead Sciences (GILD), and 8.1% in Amgen (AMGN).

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