Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. has received a $2 million milestone payment from British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline Plc related to the advancement of its drug that treats patients with familial amyloid polyneuropathy, a rare genetic disease.

Isis said the cash influx is the first of the $50 million in potential milestone payments it is eligible to earn. The company is undergoing a phase 2/3 study of the drug, Isis-TTR (Rx), which targets a disease that leads to the dysfunction of peripheral nerve and heart tissues.

Isis is using its proprietary “antisense” technology, which engineers RNA molecules to deactivate faulty genes. Shares for the publicly traded company increased about 2 percent following the July 30 announcement, trading at $28.36 at market close. The company’s market capitalization is $2.94 billion.

— SDBJ Staff Report