HOERSHOLM, Denmark, SAN DIEGO, and MUNICH, Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Santaris Pharma A/S and BetaIsarna Therapeutics GmbH announced today that they have signed an agreement whereby Isarna gains access to Santaris' Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) technology to further develop its next generation oligonucleotide product candidates. Under the terms of the agreement, Isarna obtains rights to utilize Santaris Pharma's proprietary LNA Drug Platform to discover, develop and commercialize immunotherapeutics targeted against the cytokine Transforming Growth Factor Beta1, Beta2 and Beta3 (TGF-Beta). TGF-Beta represents a critical pathway in oncology as its overexpression has been linked to progression and poor patient outcomes for various cancers and is suspected to play a role in other diseases as well.
Santaris will receive an upfront payment and is eligible for development, regulatory and sales milestones. Furthermore, Santaris will receive a share of any sub-licensing revenues and royalties on worldwide sales of alliance products. No further financial details have been disclosed.
"We are delighted that Isarna Therapeutics selected Santaris Pharma as its partner, further validating that our LNA Drug Platform is the technology-of-choice for developing RNA-targeted medicines," said Dr. Henrik Oerum, Chief Scientific Officer and VP business development of Santaris Pharma. "This deal is yet another example of our intention to add more alliances with biotechnology companies such as Isarna Therapeutics to our growing list of partners."
Commenting on the alliance, Philippe Calais, CEO of Isarna Therapeutics said: "In optimizing our cancer immunotherapeutics, we see Santaris' LNA approach as a unique enabling technology to support the efficacy profile of our novel products targeted at breakthrough status diseases."
About Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) Drug Platform
The LNA Drug Platform and Drug Discovery Engine developed by Santaris Pharma A/S combines the company's proprietary LNA chemistry with its highly specialized and targeted drug development capabilities to rapidly deliver LNA-based drug candidates against both mRNA and microRNA, thus enabling scientists to develop drug candidates against diseases that are difficult, or impossible, to target with contemporary drug platforms such as antibodies and small molecules. The LNA Drug Platform overcomes the limitations of earlier antisense and siRNA technologies through a unique combination of small size and very high affinity that allows this new class of drugs candidates to potently and specifically inhibit RNA targets in many different tissues without the need for complex delivery vehicles. LNA is also sometimes referred to as BNA (Bicyclic or Bridged Nucleic Acid).
About Santaris Pharma A/S
Santaris Pharma A/S is a privately held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of RNA-targeted therapies. The LNA Drug Platform and Drug Discovery Engine developed by Santaris Pharma A/S combine the company's proprietary LNA chemistries with its highly specialized and targeted drug development capabilities to rapidly deliver potent single-stranded LNA-based drug candidates across a multitude of disease states. The company's research and development activities focus on cardiometabolic disorders, infectious and inflammatory diseases, cancers and rare genetic disorders, while partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies include a range of additional undisclosed therapeutic areas. The company has strategic partnerships with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Shire PLC, Pfizer, miRagen Therapeutics, RaNa Therapeutics Inc. and Isarna Therapeutics GmbH. As part of its broad patent estate, the company holds exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture, have manufactured and sell products that contain LNA as an active ingredient for studies performed with a view to obtaining marketing approval. Santaris Pharma A/S, founded in 2003, is headquartered in Denmark with operations in the United States. Please visit www.santaris.com for more information.
SOURCE Santaris Pharma A/S