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AstraZeneca: licenses NASH disease drug from partner Ionis

( - AstraZeneca is licensing an investigational drug that has been discovered by US biotech partner Ionis as a potential treatment for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), the companies said on Tuesday.

The deal means that AstraZeneca will now be in charge of the further development of ION455, including regulatory filings and commercialisation.

Under the agreement, Ionis earned 30 million dollars from AstraZeneca for licensing the drug, while also being eligible to earn up to 300 million dollars in milestone payments and royalties on sales.

ION455 is the second medicine for the treatment of NASH that Ionis has partnered with AstraZeneca.

The companies have also collaborated on ION839, which is designed to inhibit the production of the PNPLA3 protein, a major genetic determinant of NASH progression.

Separately, Ionis is also developing a wholly owned NASH program.

Ionis and AstraZeneca are collaborating on potential treatments for kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

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