Ionis Pharmaceuticals posted earnings of $28 million from AstraZeneca due to the finalization of AstraZeneca’s studies supporting IND and the licensing of IONIS-KRAS-2.5Rx, also known as AZD4785.
IONIS-KRAS-2.5Rx was developed by Ionis to target KRAS, a gene that is the most commonly mutated by cancer. It is the belief that KRAS mutations underlie pathogenesis of approximately 30 percent of tumors in humans.
"We and AstraZeneca are uniquely positioned to advance the first antisense drug in development to target KRAS as this is a very challenging target to engage with other therapeutic modalities,” Ionis Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery Brett Monia said. “Our partner AstraZeneca has extensive experience in successfully developing and commercializing drugs to treat cancer and we look forward to working with them to advance this innovative cancer treatment through clinical development."
The KRAS protein is used to control the division of cells as well as the survival of tumor cells. The development of medications that use customary drug modalities that are designed to block the KRAS protein has been difficult thus far.
IONIS-KRAS-2.5Rx will be the first therapeutic option entering into clinical development that is designed to target the KRAS protein directly.