Partner: Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY)
Technology: Locked nucleic acid platform for RNA drugs
Amount: $10 million up front and $90 million for each product
The scoop: Santaris' locked nucleic acid (LNA) platform for RNA drugs is the basis of the Danish company's pipeline, and Bristol-Myers Squibb took notice in 2013 to the tune of $10 million up front, plus $90 million more for each product, depending on milestones down the road. Though the companies didn't disclose the number of products in the deal, the amount Bristol is willing to pay for each speaks to the potential growth of the RNA drug field.
Santaris had linked up with Pfizer ($PFE), GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), Shire ($SHPG) and others before Bristol-Myers, showcasing the attention its LNA received in the up-and-coming RNA boom. And while the LNA platform is not a drug delivery vehicle, the technology helps make RNA a more efficient treatment option, according to the company, by making the drugs smaller and giving them a greater affinity for RNA targets.
"We are proud and honored that Bristol-Myers Squibb has chosen Santaris Pharma as their partner," Santaris chief scientist and VP of business development Henrik Oerum said in a statement. "We are confident that the unique features of the LNA drug platform can achieve clinical breakthroughs and look forward to working closely with the Bristol-Myers Squibb team."
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