Isis, Genzyme extend licensing deal for lipid-lowering drug

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Genzyme and Isis Pharmaceuticals have finalization of the license and collaboration agreement for mipomersen, providing Genzyme with exclusive global rights to the lipid-lowering drug.

As part of the agreement, the Carlsbad, Calif.-based Isis will receive a $175 million license fee for mipomersen. In February, Isis received a $150 million payment from the Cambridge, Mass.-based Genzyme to purchase 5 million shares of Isis common stock at $30 per share.

Isis discovered and developed mipomersen, and is currently in phase 3 clinical development.

During the second half of 2008, the companies expect enrollment to be completed in a study of mipomersen in homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and a new trial in apheresis-eligible patients to begin.

The companies have updated the deal terms so that Isis will contribute up to $50 million, in additional development funding for mipomersen, bringing Isis' development funding commitment up to $125 million.

Thereafter, Isis and Genzyme said they will share development costs equally. The initial Isis development funding commitment and the shared funding will end when the program is profitable. In exchange for the additional contribution, Isis has the opportunity to receive $75 million in milestone payments early.