The treatments aim to reduce cardiovascular risk in patients with
high levels of lipoprotein. The therapies called AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx
and AKCEA-APOCIII-LRx have the potential to lower lipoprotein Lip(a)
and ApoCIII by up to 90 percent, Novartis said in a statement on
Ionis and Akcea are eligible to receive $225 million in near-term
payments, including a $75 million up-front option payment and a $100
million equity investment in Ionis, Ionis said in a separate
The deal would be valued at "significantly over $1 billion" through
license fees, milestone payments and royalties if both drugs are
licensed and successfully commercialized, Ionis said.
Basel-based Novartis said it can exercise its options to license and
commercialize the two products after they hit specified development
milestones and before phase 3 trials for each program begin.
Novartis would then be responsible for worldwide development and
commercialization of both assets.
Shares in Novartis fell 14.6 percent in 2016, a steeper drop than
the broader European healthcare index.
[to top of second column]
(Reporting by Michael Shields and Joshua Franklin)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.