Genzyme to develop Isis high-risk cardiovascular patients for $150M

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Genzyme and Isis Pharmaceuticals have entered a strategic alliance in which Genzyme will develop and commercialize mipomersen, Isis' lipid-lowering treatment for high risk cardiovascular patients that utilizes antisense technology.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based Genzyme will pay Isis $150 million to purchase five million shares of Isis’ common stock upon Hart-Scott-Rodino clearance. Upon completion of final contracts, Genzyme will pay the Carlsbad, Calif.-based Isis a $175 million up-front mipomersen license fee. In addition to the initial $325 million, Isis said it could potentially receive milestone payments for mipomersen, which is currently in phase 3 trials.

Once the product is launched, the two companies will share profits, according to Isis.

Mipomersen, formerly ISIS 301012, is a lipid-lowering drug targeting apolipoprotein B-100. Currently in phase 3 development, mipomersen has been shown in phase 2 trials to reduce cholesterol and other atherogenic lipids more than 40 percent beyond reductions achieved with standard lipid-lowering drugs, enabling more patients to achieve lipid targets, Isis said. The company said that Mipomersen's initial indication will be for patients with familial hypercholesterolemia, and anticipates filing in 2009.

Under the terms of the agreement, Genzyme will also have preferred access to future Isis drugs for CNS and certain rare diseases.