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Ionis (IONS) Inks Deal With Bicycle Therapeutics for LICA Drugs

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Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS - Free Report) signed an exclusive worldwide deal with small biotech Bicycle Therapeutics (BCYC - Free Report) to develop targeted oligonucleotide therapies, leveraging the latter’s tissue-targeting TfR1 Bicycle technology. The deal will provide Ionis an exclusive license to Bicycle Therapeutics’ innovative transferrin receptor 1-targeting peptides, referred to as Bicycles, to strengthen the targeting capabilities of its LIgand Conjugated Antisense (LICA) medicines.

Bicycles, a targeting technology, binds with high specificity to the transferrin receptor without modifying natural function. Ionis will evaluate Bicycles as vehicles to deliver oligonucleotide therapeutics to specific organ systems.

This year so far, Ionis’ shares have declined 35.7% compared with the industry’s decrease of 8.4%.

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For the deal, Bicycle Therapeutics got an upfront payment of $45 million, which included an $11 million equity investment in the company. Bicycle Therapeutics will also be entitled to other development and regulatory milestone payments as well as future royalties if any drug is developed under the program is eventually approved. However, Bicycle retains rights to use transferrin binding Bicycles to deliver all non-oligonucleotide therapeutics.

Ionis’ RNA antisense technology has allowed it to form an impressive set of partnerships with leading drugmakers like Biogen (BIIB - Free Report) , AstraZeneca (AZN - Free Report) , Bayer, Glaxo among other for development/marketing of its drugs. Ionis is also advancing and expanding its wholly-owned pipeline to drive future revenue growth.

Ionis currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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