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Isis Pharma Earns $15 Mln From AstraZeneca On ISIS-ARRx Study Initiation

Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ISIS: Quote) said that it earned a $15 million milestone payment from AstraZeneca (AZN.L,AZN: Quote) for initiation of phase 1 clinical study of ISIS-ARRx in patients with cancer.

ISIS-ARRx is an antisense drug designed to treat patients with prostate cancer by inhibiting the production of the androgen receptor (AR). AstraZeneca is planning to develop ISIS-ARRx broadly to treat patients under a variety of settings during the course of prostate cancer treatment, including both as a single agent and in combination therapy.

The open-label, dose-escalation Phase 1 study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of ISIS-ARRx in patients with advanced solid tumors, such as metastatic castrate resistant prostate, breast, bladder and ovarian cancers, where the androgen receptor pathway is potentially a contributing factor. The endpoints for the study include measurements of anti-tumor activity and AR and AR-variant levels in tumor biopsies. The study will also evaluate safety.

Isis and AstraZeneca are collaborating to discover and develop antisense drugs to treat cancer. The collaboration combines AstraZeneca's experience and expertise in developing anti-cancer agents with Isis' antisense technology platform to broaden Isis' cancer franchise. With the initiation of the Phase 1 study for ISIS-ARRx, Isis has earned $57 million in upfront and milestone payments from its relationship with AstraZeneca and is eligible to earn additional milestone payments as the drug progresses in development as well as royalties on sales of ISIS-ARRx if it is commercialized.

by RTT Staff Writer

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