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Vect-horus and Ionis Pharmaceuticals Have Entered an Exclusive License Agreement to Advance the Systemic Delivery of RNA-targeted Medicines for Neurological Diseases

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Vect-Horus, a privately owned biotech firm specializing in the development of molecular vectors for targeted therapeutic and imaging agent delivery, has recently disclosed a global licensing agreement with Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: IONS). The arrangement grants Ionis an exclusive worldwide license for a specified set of targets utilizing Vect-Horus' platform technology known as "VECTrans." This technology aims at facilitating the systemic delivery of RNA-targeted therapeutics, allowing them to cross the blood-brain barrier and target central nervous system issues. The agreement also provides Ionis the option to include additional targets within the license, while Vect-Horus retains the rights to utilize its technology for these specific targets in all non-RNA-Targeted Medicines.

According to the agreement's terms, Vect-Horus will receive an upfront payment in the double-digit million-dollar range. Additionally, Vect-Horus is eligible for development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments, along with tiered single-digit royalties based on annual product sales.

Alexandre Tokay, Vect-Horus' co-founder and CEO, expressed excitement about the collaboration, stating, "We are extremely pleased to partner with Ionis, a pioneer in RNA-targeted medicines, to address one of the toughest challenges in RNA therapeutics — systemic delivery of therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier. This license aligns with our strategy of using our technology to deliver drug payloads, such as RNA-targeted therapeutics, to the brain and other tissues. We hope that combining our technology with Ionis’ industry-leading RNA-targeted drug platform will enable the creation of innovative medicines for a variety of neurological diseases."

Eric E. Swayze, Ph.D., Ionis' executive vice president of research, also expressed confidence in the collaboration, stating, "With a proven track record of delivering first-in-class disease-modifying medicines for serious neurological diseases, we believe we are well positioned to tackle the next frontier of delivery of neurology medicines across the blood-brain barrier. Vect-Horus’ promising technology represents a strategic addition to our industry-leading RNA technologies, providing us with the potential to bring systemically-delivered medicines to patients in need of treatment options across both rare and common neurological diseases."



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