Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. collaborated and entered a license agreement with Suzhou Ribo Life Science Co., Ltd. It was a major step in development and commercialization of RNA-targeted therapeutics in China. Ribo is a R&D Company dedicated to nucleic acid drugs and other related products based on the RNA interference (RNAi) technology. Ionis is the major company in RNA-based drug discovery and development. A License for the commercialization of two Ionis Generation 2+ antisense drugs in cancer and metabolic disease had been granted by Ionis to Ribo along with an option for licensing a third pre-specified Generation 2+ antisense drug. Moreover, Ribo’s responsibility would be to conduct multi-year research along with drug discovery program to utilize ssRNAi technology of Ionis.
Eying the growing need of new medicines in China for certain genetically-defined cancers and metabolic diseases, Ionis Pharmaceuticals took a step to collaborate with Ribo. In addition, Ionis had made exceptional progress in RNAi therapeutic programs, which was also another reason behind choosing the company for collaboration. Its drug development and regulatory expertise in the Chinese market would help Ribo to maximize value of their drug. This move also marked a significant step toward Ribo’s global development plan.
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“We are committed to advancing new RNA-targeted therapeutics, like RNAi and antisense, to patients with high unmet medical need in China,” said Liang Zicai, founder and Chairman of Ribo. “Ionis has made significant breakthroughs showing that chemically modified single-stranded oligonucleotides can activate the RNAi pathway. We believe that this work is the foundation for a robust drug discovery platform that takes advantage of using single-stranded RNA-like antisense drugs that harness the power of the RNAi pathway. We are excited by the opportunity to contribute our expertise and resources to advancing this promising technology.”
According to license terms, Ribo can avail an option for licensing each drug by paying a license fee to Ionis. If Ribo licenses a drug, it will be responsible for development and commercialization in China. As the licensed drugs advance, Ionis will be eligible for receiving payments for development, regulation, and commercialization. Moreover, Ionis will also receive royalties for new sales of licensed drugs.
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