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Novartis joins forces with Ionis on cardiovascular treatments

Novartis joins forces with Ionis on cardiovascular treatments

Novartis has agreed with Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc and its affiliate Akcea Therapeutics Inc to license two experimental cardiovascular treatments in a deal which Ionis said could eventually be worth more than $1 billion.

The treatments aim to reduce cardiovascular risk in patients with high levels of lipoprotein. The therapies called AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx and AKCEA-APOCIII-LRx have the potential to lower lipoprotein Lip(a) and ApoCIII by up to 90 percent, Novartis said in a statement.

Ionis and Akcea are eligible to receive $225 million in near-term payments, including a $75 million up-front option payment and a $100 million equity investment in Ionis, Ionis said in a separate statement.

The deal would be valued at “significantly over $1 billion” through license fees, milestone payments and royalties if both drugs are licensed and successfully commercialized, Ionis said.

Basel-based Novartis said it can exercise its options to license and commercialize the two products after they hit specified development milestones and before phase 3 trials for each program begin.

Novartis would then be responsible for worldwide development and commercialization of both assets.

Shares in Novartis fell 14.6 percent in 2016, a steeper drop than the broader European healthcare index.

Source: Reuters
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