Company Update (NASDAQ:IONS): Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc Licenses First Oral Antisense Drug Acting Locally in the GI Tract to Janssen

Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:IONS) announced that it has earned $10 millionfrom Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) upon licensing IONIS-JBI1-2.5Rx, an orally delivered antisense drug designed to locally inhibit an undisclosed target in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract for the treatment of a GI autoimmune disease.  Janssen will assume all global development, regulatory and commercialization responsibilities for IONIS-JBI1-2.5Rx once Ionis completes the IND-enabling studies.

“IONIS-JBI1-2.5Rx is the first antisense drug to enter development as part of Ionis’ collaboration with Janssen to discover and develop orally administered, locally acting RNA-targeted therapeutics for autoimmune diseases in the gastrointestinal tract.  We are very pleased to have rapidly advanced this first drug candidate into development within a year and a half of initiating our collaboration with Janssen,” said B. Lynne Parshall, chief operating officer at Ionis Pharmaceuticals.  “This new drug further expands our technology’s reach into a new therapeutic setting and a new route of delivery.”

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 for these programs.  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 closed yesterday at $27.69, up $0.41 or 1.50%. 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 $23.48 and its 200-day moving average is $35.45.

On the ratings front, Ionis has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on July 14, Jefferies Co. analyst Eun Yang reiterated a Sell rating on IONS, with a price target of $12, which represents a potential downside of 56.7% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on the same day, Leerink Swann’s Michael Schmidt reiterated a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $26.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Eun Yang and Michael Schmidt have a total average return of -0.8% and 7.1% respectively. Yang has a success rate of 56.5% and is ranked #2978 out of 4064 analysts, while Schmidt has a success rate of 56.2% and is ranked #533.

The street is mostly Neutral on IONS stock. Out of 8 analysts who cover the stock, 4 suggest a Hold rating , 3 suggest a Buy and one recommends to Sell the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $26.00, which reflects a potential downside of -6.1% from last closing price.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. engages in the development and commercialization of antisense drug discovery platform. It operates through the Drug Discovery and Development segment which exploits a novel drug discovery platform created to generate a broad pipeline of first-in-class drugs for the company and its partners. Its products are used to treat diseases such as severe and rare, cardiovascular, neurologic and metabolic diseases, and cancer.