Research Assistant Andres Berdeja works at one of the Ionis labs in Carlsbad. File photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

Research Assistant Andres Berdeja works at one of the Ionis labs in Carlsbad. File photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

Carlsbad-based Ionis Pharmaceuticals has landed yet another big payout.

Pharmaceutical giant Novartis will pay $150 million to license a cardiovascular drug from Ionis, it was announced Feb. 25. Ionis and its spinout Akcea Therapeutics will share the payment.

Novartis picked up the rights to Akcea-Apo(a)-LRx, a drug candidate intended for elevated levels of lipoprotein (a) that can’t be reduced by diet or exercise and that contribute to risks like blood clots. The large pharmaceutical will handle a phase 3 clinical study, and if the drug is approved, global commercialization.

Promising phase 2 clinical trial results laid the groundwork for the deal.

“We believe that this therapy has the potential to be a significant advance for millions of people affected by cardiovascular disease around the world,” said Paula Soteropoulos, chief executive officer at Akcea.

The drug was discovered by Ionis and co-developed by Akcea and Ionis. The $150 million will go to Akcea, which will pay Ionis $75 million in common stock.

Ionis last year netted big deals, including Biogen paying the company $1 billion to develop neurological drugs.