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Ionis Pharmaceuticals' CEO, Dr. Stanley Crooke, Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society

CARLSBAD, Calif., Sept. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS) announced today that Stanley T. Crooke, Ph.D., M.D., founder, CEO and chairman of the board of directors of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society, OTS. The OTS Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes Dr. Crooke's lasting commitment to the field of oligonucleotide therapeutics through outstanding contributions to education, research, and therapeutic application. Dr. Crooke's accomplishments will be recognized at the 2016 OTS Annual Meeting in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and he will give a plenary lecture at the meeting on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. EDT.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals (PRNewsFoto/Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)

"The OTS Lifetime Achievement Award is reserved for a distinguished individual who has made remarkable contributions to the advancement of the field of oligonucleotide sciences. As a renowned leader in the field, Dr. Crooke is exceptionally well-deserving of this award," said Dr. Masad Damha, former president of the OTS, current chairman of the OTS awards committee and professor of chemistry at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. "Dr. Crooke has revolutionized the field of oligonucleotide therapeutics through his pioneering work in the creation of antisense technology – a novel, disruptive drug discovery and development platform. We have already seen the value of antisense technology materialize into therapeutic benefit today and we look forward to seeing the important impact antisense medicines will have on healthcare in the future."

Dr. Crooke has demonstrated, throughout his career, his commitment to discovering and developing novel medicines for patients with high unmet medical need. In 1989, Dr. Crooke founded Ionis Pharmaceuticals, where he has led the creation of a novel drug discovery platform, antisense technology. Dr. Crooke oversaw the discovery and development of the first two RNA-targeted drugs to achieve regulatory approval and commercialization. Under Dr. Crooke's leadership, Ionis has grown and advanced its pipeline to over three dozen drugs in development, with three additional Phase 3 drugs approaching commercialization.

"I am deeply grateful to be recognized by my peers at the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society with this esteemed award," said Dr. Crooke. "I am keenly interested in exploiting oligonucleotide sciences to tap into its immense therapeutic potential. At Ionis, we are focused on innovation and we persistently invest in core research to continue the advancement of our antisense technology. These investments are translating into real value across our pipeline today and we look forward to delivering transformative medicines to patients in need."

Dr. Crooke is recognized as one the world's foremost experts on antisense technology. In addition to his responsibilities as the CEO and chairman of the board of directors at Ionis, he leads an active research lab focused on advancing antisense drug technology through the elucidation of its underlying molecular mechanisms. His publications include over 450 scientific papers and he has edited 21 books.

Dr. Crooke started his industry career at Bristol Laboratories where he helped to establish the anticancer drug discovery and development program and played a key role in bringing to market a significant number of anticancer drugs. Later, at SmithKline, he oversaw worldwide R&D, coordinated all research activities, including instruments and diagnostics, and was involved in commercializing numerous new drugs in broad therapeutic areas. Dr. Crooke received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees and house staff training at Baylor College of Medicine and has been an active scientist throughout his career.

Dr. Crooke has also supported the creation and growth of a number of companies based on Ionis' technology, including Akcea, Regulus, Ibis and others.  He has served as a board member of 22 biotechnology and scientific companies and is currently a member of the board of directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). Dr. Crooke has been the recipient of numerous awards. Most recently, Dr. Crooke was recognized with the E.B. Hershberg Award for important discoveries in medicinally active substances from the American Chemical Society.  Dr. Crooke also recently accepted the SCRIP Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes his dedication to advancing science and medicine as a physician, a scientist, a leader and as a successful entrepreneur. Nature Biotechnology named him as one of the most influential individuals in biotechnology.  He was awarded the Director of the Year Award from the Corporate Directors Forum; the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Chemical Society (San Diego Chapter); the Helix Award, for the most important innovation in biotechnology by BIO, Stony Brook University and the Center for Biotechnology; and the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.  Dr. Crooke was also recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus at both Baylor College of Medicine and Butler University.

Ionis is the leading company in RNA-targeted drug discovery and development focused on developing drugs for patients who have the highest unmet medical needs, such as those patients with severe and rare diseases.  Using its proprietary antisense technology, Ionis has created a large pipeline of first-in-class or best-in-class drugs, with over a dozen drugs in mid- to late-stage development.  Drugs currently in Phase 3 development include volanesorsen, a drug Ionis is developing and plans to commercialize through its wholly owned subsidiary, Akcea Therapeutics, to treat patients with either familial chylomicronemia syndrome or familial partial lipodystrophy; IONIS-TTRRx, a drug Ionis is developing with GSK to treat patients with all forms of TTR amyloidosis; and nusinersen, a drug Ionis is developing with Biogen to treat infants and children with spinal muscular atrophy.  Ionis' patents provide strong and extensive protection for its drugs and technology.  Additional information about Ionis is available at

This press release includes forward-looking statements regarding the therapeutic and commercial potential of Ionis' technologies and products in development, including nusinersen, IONIS-TTRRx and volanesorsen.  Any statement describing Ionis' goals, expectations, financial or other projections, intentions or beliefs is a forward-looking statement and should be considered an at-risk statement.  Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, particularly those inherent in the process of discovering, developing and commercializing drugs that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics, and in the endeavor of building a business around such drugs.  Ionis' forward-looking statements also involve assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove correct, could cause its results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  Although Ionis' forward-looking statements reflect the good faith judgment of its management, these statements are based only on facts and factors currently known by Ionis.  As a result, you are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements.  These and other risks concerning Ionis' programs are described in additional detail in Ionis' annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, and its most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q, which are on file with the SEC.  Copies of these and other documents are available from the Company.

In this press release, unless the context requires otherwise, "Ionis," "Company," "we," "our," and "us" refers to Ionis Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiaries.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals™ is a trademark of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  Akcea Therapeutics™ is a trademark of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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SOURCE Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

D. Wade Walke, Ph.D., Vice President, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, 760-603-2741

©1999 - 2017 Ionis Pharmaceuticals™ is a trademark of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Akcea Therapeutics™ is a trademark of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.