Novartis has agreed to pay $150 million to Ionis Pharmaceuticals and Boston-based Akcea Therapeutics for the rights to a clinical-stage drug meant to treat patients with abnormally high levels of a protein that is considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

The experimental drug, known as AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx by Akcea and TQJ230 by the Swiss pharma giant, was discovered by Ionis, which is based near San Diego in Carlsbad, CA, and developed jointly by Ionis and Akcea. It is designed to lower elevated levels of lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a), in patients with cardiovascular disease by inhibiting production of a protein that promotes… Read more »