Regulus, GSK develop hepatitis C therapies

CARLSBAD, Calif. Two drug companies plan to work together to develop therapies for hepatitis C.

Regulus Therapeutics announced Thursday a deal with British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline to develop and commercialize therapeutics targeting microRNA, small RNA molecules that regulate the expression of genes, with a particular focus on microRNA-122.

GlaxoSmithKline plans to pay Regulus an upfront payment and early-stage milestone payments, with the potential to earn more than $150 million in combined payments and royalties.

“This new collaboration with GSK demonstrates the clear scientific leadership that Regulus has established in advancing a whole new frontier of pharmaceutical research,” Regulus president and CEO Kleanthis Xanthopoulos said in a statement. “MicroRNA therapeutics target the pathways of human diseases, not just single disease targets, and hold considerable promise as novel therapies across a broad range of unmet medical needs.”