Satellite Companies

Through our satellite company collaborations, we expand the reach and potential of RNA-targeting therapeutics into disease areas that are outside of our core focus and advance certain RNA-targeting therapeutic technologies. We refer to these companies as satellite companies, and this strategy as our satellite company strategy. These relationships provide us with partners who are focused in a particular disease area and who share the common goal of advancing our drugs. In these partnerships, we typically own equity in the company, often as part of the licensing agreement, and we also retain the potential to earn milestone payments and royalties. For example, we co-founded Regulus, a company focused on developing microRNA-targeted therapeutics in cancer, fibrosis, atherosclerosis and viral infections, such as HCV. Regulus has developed strategic alliances with high-quality partners such as Sanofi, Biogen and AstraZeneca, from which we have the potential to receive a portion of future milestone payments and/or royalty payments under our agreement with Regulus. In 2014 and 2015, Regulus reported positive results on RG-101, Regulus’ first anti-miR drug in clinical development.

The value of our satellite company strategy is evident in the broad pipeline of drugs we and our partners are developing to treat a wide range of diseases. Using their resources and their expertise, our partners are instrumental in developing antisense drugs that we discovered or co-discovered but fall outside our main areas of focus. We believe that our satellite company strategy allows us to realize opportunities outside of our therapeutic focus while our committed and knowledgeable satellite company partner incurs the cost of development and assumes the risk.

In addition to our satellite company partners that are advancing RNA-targeting therapeutics, we have satellite company partners who take advantage of our dominant RNA-targeting intellectual property estate and leverage our own investments in our core technologies to advance RNA-targeting technologies. These partnerships typically involve a cross-license between us and our partner and allow us to participate in newly emerging approaches to RNA-targeting technologies and augment our active programs in these areas.

 

Regulus

We co-founded Regulus Therapeutics Inc, a company that is focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of microRNA-based therapeutics. In 2012, Regulus completed an initial public offering and is traded on The NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol RGLS.

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