In December 2015 Isis changed its name to Ionis, driven in part by the negative image of "Isis" generated by the terrorist group, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, commonly known as ISIL or ISIS.
Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a leading drug discovery and development company, focused exclusively on the therapeutic target, RNA. Founded in 1989, Ionis' mission is to develop products from its RNA-based technologies, such as antisense. Very little was known about antisense when the Company was first established, but its founders envisioned an opportunity to revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry with a more efficient and targeted means of drug discovery. Since then, Ionis scientists have made tremendous progress advancing the science of antisense, unveiling capabilities that have far exceeded their expectations. Antisense drugs are the first class of drugs targeted to control expression of genes through interactions with RNA.
The goal of antisense drugs is to intervene at the RNA level to prevent the production of proteins involved in disease. Antisense drugs are designed to complement and bind (hybridize) to a segment of messenger RNA (mRNA) to form a duplex. mRNA contains instructions to make proteins, including those involved in disease.
The formation of this duplex or two stranded molecule prevents the RNA from functioning normally and from producing a specific protein. Antisense drugs are designed to interact specifically with the intended mRNA target. This high degree of specificity may make antisense drugs more effective and less toxic than traditional drugs. Beyond antisense, Company scientists have created another technology that exploits their knowledge of RNA. Ibis, a division of Ionis, has developed the TIGER biosensor system, a revolutionary system that can simultaneously identify thousands of infectious organisms in a sample, without needing to know beforehand what might be present in the sample. Ionis is capitalizing on its expertise through the following assets: Antisense Research and Drug Development Antisense drug discovery and development is the cornerstone of Ionis. Ibis Therapeutics Ibis, a division of Ionis, has developed the TIGER (Triangulation Identification for Genetic Evaluation of Risks) biosensor system, a revolutionary system to identify infectious organisms. Intellectual Property With approximately 1,500 issued patents worldwide, Ionis is the owner of one of the largest antisense and RNA patent estates in the pharmaceutical industry.See more