Pfizer, Akcea Partner for New Antisense Therapy in Deal Potentially Worth $1.5 Billion

October 7, 2019

Under a collaboration potentially worth more than $1.5 billion, the companies aim to develop the antisense therapy to treat patients with certain cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Pfizer announced it is entering into a worldwide exclusive licensing agreement with Akcea Therapeutics, an affiliate of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, for AKCEA-ANGPTL3-LRx, an antisense therapy in development to treat patients with certain cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

According to an Oct. 7, 2019 press release, the drug works by reducing angiopoietin-like 3 (ANGPTL3) protein production in the liver, which regulates triglycerides, cholesterol, glucose, and energy metabolism. AKCEA-ANGPTL3-LRx is currently in the middle of a Phase II study in people with type 2 diabetes, hypertriglyceridemia, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Through the agreement, both Akcea and Ionis will receive equal amounts of a $250 million upfront license fee and will be eligible for development, regulatory, and sales milestone payments of up to $1.3 billion and tiered, double-digit royalties on annual worldwide net sales following marketing approval of the drug. 

“Given the unmet medical need for this patient population and the broad market potential, we believe Pfizer’s expertise and breadth of experience in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases makes it well suited to accelerate clinical development of AKCEA-ANGPTL3-LRx, and to deliver it to patients in need of additional therapies for these life threatening diseases,” said Damien McDevitt, PhD, interim CEO at Akcea, in the press release.

Source: Pfizer