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AstraZeneca, Ionis heart disease drug advances into preclinical development

Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. said it advanced its lead drug candidate, renamed AZD8233, into preclinical development.

The drug, developed under a strategic collaboration with AstraZeneca PLC, is designed to treat cardiovascular disease.

Ionis received a $25 million milestone payment from AstraZeneca following the development. Ionis is also eligible to receive up to $300 million in additional milestone payments as the drug advances in development, as well as royalties from the drug's sales.

AstraZeneca will be responsible for developing and commercializing AZD8233.