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Genuity Science, Ionis Pharmaceuticals Partner on Antisense Therapy Development

NEW YORK – Genuity Science, formerly known as WuXi NextCode, and Ionis Pharmaceuticals on Thursday announced a multi-year collaboration to use genomics to develop new antisense therapeutics.

Boston-based Genuity Science will couple its whole-genome sequencing and deep phenotyping approach with Ionis' antisense drug discovery platform, which targets RNAs.

"The collaboration with Genuity Science gives us the potential to significantly increase our discovery opportunities and better understand the complexities of human diseases based on genetics," Ionis CEO Brett Monia said in a statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Genuity Science will receive a combination of upfront payments and development milestone payments, as well as product royalties. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Genuity rebranded in June as part of a restructuring that includes plans to divest its operations in China. In the meantime, the firm has continued to make deals to support its biopharma services business. In August, Genuity announced a strategic collaboration with Vanderbilt University Medical Center subsidiary Nashville Biosciences to analyze the BioVU biobank — which contains both longitudinal medical records and associated DNA samples — and share the collected data with its clients in pharma.

Ionis, based in Carlsbad, California, develops antisense therapies that target RNA. It has created drugs for spinal muscular atrophy and for polyneuropathy in adults with hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis. In January, the firm forged a drug discovery alliance with Empirico and took a $10 million stake in that company.