GlaxoSmithKline has chosen to advance another programme under its alliance with US-based group Isis Pharmaceuticals to develop RNA therapeutics for rare diseases.

Triggering a $7 million milestone to Isis, the UK drug giant has added development candidate ISIS-GSK3Rx to the collaboration.

ISIS-GSK3Rx is an antisense drug designed to inhibit the production of an undisclosed target to treat a common viral infection. 

As per the deal, Isis will develop the candidate to Phase II proof-of-concept, after which GSK has an exclusive option to in-license the program and further develop and commercialise the asset. 

The US group also stands to receive additional pre-licensing milestone payments as the drug advances, as well as double-digit royalties on future sales.  

In 2010, the drugmakers sealed a pact under which Isis’ antisense drug discovery platform is used to identify and develop new therapeutics against targets for rare and serious diseases, including infectious diseases and some causing blindness.