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Isis, Alnylam Get Together to Form Carlsbad Start-up

Carlsbad-based Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Sept. 7 it will partner with Cambridge, Mass.-based Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. to develop a startup company focused on commercializing drugs made with microRNA.

Regulus LLC, based in Carlsbad, will combine the expertise and intellectual property of both biotechnology companies. A separate board of directors, management team and scientific advisory board will guide the company under the leadership of Nobel laureate David Baltimore.

Alnylam will make an initial investment of $10 million although both companies will eventually share funding responsibilities, Isis said. Both Alnylam and Isis will retain rights to develop and market any products Regulus decides not to develop itself or with a partner.

MicroRNA, or miRNA, represents a new approach to targeting the pathways of human disease. Scientists believe the technology shows promise in its ability to target entire disease pathways instead of a single disease target.

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Shares of Isis were trading around $12.53, down about 2 percent, on the Nasdaq in midday trading Sept. 7. The company’s symbol is ISIS.

, Heather Chambers

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