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Ionis Pharmaceuticals licenses potential kidney disease treatment to AstraZeneca

Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. licensed another one of its drugs to AstraZeneca PLC.

AZD2373, which was discovered using Ionis' antisense technology, will be investigated as a potential treatment for a genetic kidney disease.

The drug, designed to inhibit an undisclosed target and also called IONIS-AZ5-2.5Rx, will be developed and commercialized by U.K.-based AstraZeneca, which will pay Ionis $30 million in upfront plus up to $30 million in additional development and regulatory milestone payments.

Carlsbad, Calif.-based Ionis will also receive royalties on the sales of the drug, once commercialized.

Ionis entered a strategic collaboration with AstraZeneca to develop antisense therapies in 2015 for treating cardiovascular and kidney diseases.

AZD2373 is the second drug to enter development under the company's collaboration agreement with AstraZeneca.