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Regulus Therapeutics Inc., founded by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY - Analyst Report) and Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ISIS - Analyst Report), recently announced the filing of a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The registration statement was filed regarding the proposed initial public offering of its shares. The company has yet to determine the number of shares and the price range concerning the offering.

In its filing with the SEC, Regulus indicated that Sanofi (SNY - Analyst Report), Isis Pharma and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK - Analyst Report) have shown an interest in buying Regulus’s common stock worth up to $10 million, $2 million and $2 million, respectively, at the initial public offering price. In a separate private placement, AstraZeneca (AZN - Analyst Report) has agreed to buy $25.0 million worth of Regulus’s common stock at the initial public offering price.

In September 2007, Alnylam and Isis Pharma joined forces to establish Regulus, a company focused on microRNA (mRNA) therapeutics. In October 2010, Sanofi made an equity investment in the company. As of June 30, 2012, Regulus was jointly owned by Alnylam (45%), Isis Pharma (46%) and Sanofi (9%).

Regulus is evaluating microRNA therapeutics in several areas including oncology, fibrosis, hepatitis C virus infection, multiple sclerosis and atherosclerosis. The company has collaborated with several companies including Glaxo, Sanofi, AstraZeneca and Biogen Idec (BIIB - Analyst Report) for microRNA therapeutics. The company expects to file its first investigational new drug application (IND) in 2014. 

Our Recommendation

Currently, we have a Neutral recommendation on Isis Pharma and an Outperform recommendation on Alnylam. Both stocks carry a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating).

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