Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (IONS)

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Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (IONS)

BMO Prescription for Success Healthcare Conference

June 25, 2019, 09:20 AM ET

Company Participants

Brett Monia - COO of Ionis

Conference Call Participants

Do Kim - Wall Street Analyst at BMO


Do Kim

Hi, good morning. My name is Do Kim, Wall Street Analyst at BMO. Happy to have with us Brett Monia, COO of Ionis. Brett, just to start off as we recognized the 30 years that Ionis has been around, could you reflect on what the company has achieved in that time where you are today and what we’re going to expect as we transition to CEO?

Brett Monia

Sure, I think Do and happy to and good morning everybody. I’m glad to be here, thanks for the invitation. Let me talk a little bit about Ionis and where we’re at today. So, yes, indeed this is our 30th year anniversary and there’s a lot of celebrating going on right now in Santiago, we feel very proud on what we’ve accomplished over the last 30 years. I think at the high level though what we’ve done was essentially created a new platform for drug discovery and development. We’ve optimized it, and now we validated it. We validated in the clinic and we validated it commercially with drugs like SPINRAZA and TEGSEDI, and there’s so much more to come. We are very proud of that. We are also proud of the fact that we are the leaders in this space, this space being on therapeutics, drug discovery and we believe that we’re actually widening the gap in our leadership position in RNA-based therapeutics and the future is really bright.

More recently, we’ve accomplished a great deal. Of course we’ve had three drug approvals with this platform in the last three years been rather TEGSEDI and most recently WAYLIVRA. For FCS, we built a -- established a large pipeline, a first-in-class, best-in-class pipeline of more than 40 drugs in development now today. And across deep pipeline starting from phase I through pivotal studies in phase III and we -- I’d love to talk more about the phase III programs later [ph], it’s very exciting.

In addition to a deep and growing pipeline, we also have been advancing our technology with new routes of delivery, new chemistries to further improve potency and patient convenience. And based on that pick, the technology that we’ve been innovating and pioneering over the years, we've created the premier program in neurodegenerative diseases based on our focus on delivering over the nucleotide based drugs to the CNS. And now with drugs SPINRAZA and many more to come, we're really very proud of where we are in the neurodegenerative disease space.

So the technology continues to go forward and also we're proud that we're in a very strong financial position with continued revenue growth year after year. Net, net profitability and a cash position that lets us invest in the technology and the pipeline bring more medicines.

Yes, January 2020, I'll be the CEO at Ionis and I'm very excited about that. I'm looking forward to it, and the company is ready for it. We've been preparing for this now for a couple of years and everybody is looking forward to the transition.

Vision goals are many. We've accomplished as I said, a great deal over the last 30 years. But we've only really touched the tip of the iceberg; we’ve so much more to do. Goal number one is, is to really develop our pipeline and bring a number of new transformative medicines to the finish line and get them approved. We're looking at -- I'm looking at many approvals over the next few years, maybe four to five drug approvals over the next four to five years. Medicines like SPINRAZA, real transformative medicines.

In addition, very important to build our wholly-owned pipeline. We have a lot of partnerships as you know a lot of companies want to work with us, they want to access our technology, but we also are now building our wholly-owned pipeline. Pipeline with neurodrug, neurodegenerative disease drugs as well as other drugs, and we want to bring those to the finish line and then commercialize them. We need to build and strengthen our commercial affiliate, our commercial strategy for the wholly-owned drugs that we're developing. Bringing new medicines into our commercial affiliate Akcea or creating new affiliates, and into commercialize those, while continuing to invest in new technology, advancing it forward.

And also finally we've begun to start to begin to look at new disruptive technologies, like antisense, for the future, for the long term and we're beginning to select and choose and prioritize which types of technologies we may want to invest into in the future. And one of my goals would be to select those technologies and move them forward. So -- we've done a lot. It's quite an agenda ahead, but it's a very exciting agenda and I'm really looking forward to it.

Do Kim

It's great. You mentioned your late stage pipeline. Could you probably give an overview of the drugs you're referring to and what stage they're in right now?

Brett Monia

Yes. Sure, so one of our goals this year is to move four drugs new drugs into Phase III pivotal clinical trials, and to set up our mid stage pipeline to bring possibly up to 10, to Phase III by the end of the next year. So focusing on the late stage drugs this year, we're already halfway there, with two Phase III studies already have started. The first one being our Huntington's disease program. We have a drug to treat Huntington's disease, that's partnering with Roche and that drug is in Phase III clinical development now, and is off and running.

Read the rest of this transcript on seekingalpha.com