Roche licenses IONIS-HTTRX drug for treating Huntington’s disease

F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, a multinational healthcare firm based in Switzerland, has apparently decided to obtain the rights from Ionis Pharmaceuticals to promote IONIS-HTTRX, an antisense drug developed by the latter for treating Huntington’s disease. According to some of the key officials of Roche, the decision was based on the favorable outcomes and effectiveness of the drug observed during placebo-controlled Phase I/IIa dose-escalation trials. Reliable sources have stated that Roche will pay USD 45 million for the license and will help Ionis in drug development & commercialization activities. Roche has also agreed to pay sales royalties to Ionis.

According to estimates, Huntington is a genetic neurodegenerative disease that affects nearly thirty thousand of the populace across the United States. Physicians are of the view that symptoms of the ailment are observed in the person belonging to the age group ranging from 30-50 years, and the disease could aggravate during the next ten to twenty-five years, resulting in the death of the patient from heart failure or pneumonia.

While it remains universally known that there is no effective treatment for curing the Huntington disease, the IONIS-HTTRX drug apparently helps to effectively handle its symptoms. According to the director of the London’s Huntington center, the data collected from the phase I/IIa tests has depicted that the drug has indeed been successful in minimizing mHTT levels in patients suffering from Huntington’s. Observations have also revealed the drug to be safe, endowed with the ability to reduce toxic disease-producing proteins in the nervous system.

It is reported that Roche and Ionis will present the data outcomes obtained from the clinical trials at various international conferences anticipated to take place in the first six months of 2018. According to reliable sources, both the organizations are carrying out an open-label extension research on the patients who have completed their Phase I/IIa clinical trials.