Carlsbad drugmaker Ionis Pharmaceuticals has earned $10 million from its Big Pharma partner Biogen for taking one of its experimental drugs to the clinic.

The company is initiating its first human trial to test a medicine called Ionis-MaptRx, which is meant to treat mild cases of Alzheimer’s disease. Ionis is working with longtime partner Biogen on the trial. The duo has a history of tackling difficult diseases. Last year, the pair brought to market Spinraza, a drug to treat spinal muscular atrophy patients.

With this new program, Ionis and Biogen are leveraging Ionis’ drug technology called antisense, which targets disease processes at the genetic level.

The early-stage trial (Phase 1/2a) will evaluate safety and measure the activity of the drug in 44 patients. The company did not disclose when data from this trial is expected to publish.