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Novosom Acquires Exclusive Option for Antisense Inhibitors from Isis Pharmaceuticals

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Novosom AG has announced that it has purchased an exclusive option from Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. that, if exercised within six months, enables it to acquire an exclusive, worldwide license to antisense inhibitors targeting the CD40 membrane protein for all indications.

CD40 is a validated target for both inflammatory diseases and B-cell cancers and Novosom plans to target CD40 for indications such as Crohn's disease, transplant, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and multiple sclerosis. If acquired, the license from Isis would include rights to the target and to oligonucleotides targeting CD40 and incorporating Isis’ second generation antisense chemistry, 2' MOE oligonucleotides in exchange for financial considerations including an upfront exercise fee, milestone payments and royalties.

Novosom is using its proprietary Smarticles® technology to enable systemic delivery of antisense targeting CD40. This encapsulated antisense approach has demonstrated targeted delivery to specific cell types with onset of action and greater in vivo efficacy than the anti-inflammatory blockbuster Remicade.

Elias Papatheodorou, CEO of Novosom AG, commented: “We are very happy to have reached an agreement with the industry leader in oligonucleotide therapeutics for Novosom’s first proprietary therapeutic program. We feel that of the current oligo-based technologies, Isis’ antisense 2’ MOE chemistry offers the most commercially mature option. We plan to further extend our pipeline with antisense and siRNA programs while taking advantage of the targeted properties of our Smarticles® technology in oncology and inflammation.”

“Novosom is pioneering new formulation chemistries to improve systemic delivery of RNA-based drugs, a powerful new class of therapeutics,” said Dr. Frank Bennett, Isis Senior Vice President of Research.

“This agreement underscores how Isis is leveraging its IP to form productive outlicensing partnerships.  We look forward to collaborating further with Novosom on the development of a CD40 antisense oligonucleotide,” Bennett added.