ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISIS) has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Bayer HealthCare (Bayer) to develop and commercialize ISIS-FXIRx for the prevention of thrombosis. Under the terms of the agreement, Isis is eligible to receive up to$155 million in near-term payments, including an immediate $100 million up-front payment and a $55 million payment upon advancement of the program following a Phase 2 study in patients with compromised kidney function. Isis is also eligible to receive milestone payments as the drug advances toward the market. In addition, Isis is eligible to receive tiered royalties in the low to high twenty percent range on gross margins of ISIS-FXIRx. After completion of ongoing activities at Isis, Bayer will assume all global clinical development as well as worldwide regulatory and commercialization responsibilities for ISIS-FXIRx.

As part of the clinical development program, Bayer plans to evaluate the therapeutic profile of ISIS-FXIRx in patients for whom currently available anticoagulants may not be used, such as in patients with a high risk of bleeding due to multiple co-morbidities.

“We believe Bayer, a leading pharmaceutical company in the treatment of thrombotic disease, is the ideal partner for ISIS-FXIRx. This transaction further demonstrates Bayer’s commitment to the field. Bayer has the expertise, commitment and resources to develop ISIS-FXIRx in areas where unmet medical needs exist. We are pleased with the value of this partnership, which supports a robust development program to maximize the value of ISIS-FXIRx globally and which allows us to participate significantly in future commercial success,” saidStanley Crooke, Ph.D, M.D., chief executive officer at Isis Pharmaceuticals.  “We believe that this transaction represents the right deal, with the right partner and the right development plan.”

“This first-in-class FXI inhibitor perfectly complements our in-house thrombosis pipeline and is an innovative development candidate for a variety of anti-coagulation needs,” said Dr. Joerg Moeller, Member of the Bayer HealthCareExecutive Committee and Head of Global Development. “We believe the novel mechanism of Factor XI inhibition may offer an additional pathway for treating patients for whom there are currently no suitable therapeutic options available. We share a common vision with Isis in developing ISIS-FXIRx to its full potential.”

This transaction is subject to clearances under the Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. (Original Source)

Shares of Isis closed last Friday at $58.24 . ISIS has a 1-year high of $77.80 and a 1-year low of $22.25. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $65.16 and its 200-day moving average is $60.86.

On the ratings front, Isis has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on April 13, Needham analyst Chad Messer reiterated a Buy rating on ISIS, with a price target of $80, which represents a potential upside of 37.4% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on March 2, Stifel Nicolaus’ Stephen Willey downgraded the stock to Hold .

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Chad Messer and Stephen Willey have a total average return of -3.5% and 35.4% respectively. Messer has a success rate of 29.0% and is ranked #3279 out of 3590 analysts, while Willey has a success rate of 64.0% and is ranked #28.

In total, 2 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 2 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $58.24 which is 30.5% above where the stock closed last Friday.

Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc is engaged in antisense drug discovery and development, exploiting a novel drug discovery platform it created to generate a broad pipeline of first-in-class drugs.