Carlsbad’s Ionis Pharmaceuticals has licensed a kidney drug to British giant AstraZeneca, earning $30 million upfront and the potential for $300 million in development and regulatory milestone payments.

AstraZeneca will be responsible for developing and commercializing Ionis-AZ5-2.5Rx.

"This is the second drug to enter development under our strategic collaboration with AstraZeneca in cardiovascular, metabolic and renal diseases. Ionis-AZ5-2.5Rx is being developed to treat a genetically associated form of kidney disease with a high unmet medical need. We were able to move this program from target validation to a clinical candidate quickly, exemplifying the efficiency of our antisense platform," said Brett P. Monia, chief operating officer and senior vice president of antisense drug discovery and translational medicine at Ionis.

To date, Ionis has brought in more than $220 million from its collaboration with AstraZeneca in oncology, cardiometabolic and kidney diseases.