Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:IONS) announced today that it has earned $5 million milestone payment from Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) associated with the validation of an undisclosed target to treat patients with a gastrointestinal (GI) autoimmune disease.  Under the collaboration, Ionis and Janssen will continue to evaluate the target with the goal of advancing an antisense drug into development.

“In just two short years, our collaboration with Janssen has proven to be very successful.  Earlier this year, we earned $10 million when Janssen licensed IONIS-JBI1-2.5Rx, an orally delivered antisense drug for the treatment of a GI autoimmune disease.  The program announced today marks the second to advance under our collaboration with Janssen,” said B. Lynne Parshall, chief operating officer at Ionis.  “We are excited by the rapid advancement of both programs and look forward to the continued progress of this collaboration.”

Under the terms of the agreement, which covers three programs, Ionis is eligible to receive nearly $800 million in development, regulatory and sales milestone payments and license fees.  In addition, Ionis will receive tiered royalties that on average are double-digits on sales from any product that is successfully commercialized. (Original Source)

Shares of Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. closed yesterday at $52.15, up $0.23 or 0.44%. IONS has a 1-year high of $62.68 and a 1-year low of $19.59. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $43.51 and its 200-day moving average is $32.96.

On the ratings front, Ionis Pharmaceuticals has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on December 20, BMO analyst Do Kim maintained a Buy rating on IONS, with a price target of $61, which represents a potential upside of 17% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on November 20, Leerink Swann’s Paul Matteis reiterated a Hold rating on the stock .

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Do Kim and Paul Matteis have a yearly average loss of -1.4% and a return of 6.9% respectively. Kim has a success rate of 47% and is ranked #3090 out of 4289 analysts, while Matteis has a success rate of 53% and is ranked #684.

Sentiment on the street is mostly bullish on IONS stock. Out of 8 analysts who cover the stock, 4 suggest a Buy rating , 3 suggest a Hold and one recommends to Sell the stock.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. engages in the development and commercialization of antisense drug discovery. It operates its business through the Ionis Core and Akea Therapeutics segments. The Ionis Core segment involves a a novel drug discovery platform generate a broad pipeline of drugs. The Akea Therapeutics segment develops and commercializes drugs for cardiometabolic disorders.