Why Is ISIS Pharmaceuticals Changing Its Name To Ionis?


Isis Pharmaceuticals, which trades on NASDAQ with ISIS ticker, is now changing its name to Ionis Pharmaceuticals.

The company was sharing a name with the Islamic State extremist group, which is known by its acronym ISIS. This wasn’t making a good impression on investors, and the company’s shares have lost 6.32% year-to-date.

Islamic State, or ISIS, is involved in several violent attacks around the world, including recent attacks in in Paris last month.

“We decided to change our company name because, when people see or hear our name, we want them to think about the life-saving medicines we are developing,” says Lynne Parshall, chief operating officer at Ionis Pharmaceuticals.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals said that this new name will “represent its innovative culture and heritage as both the pioneer and leader in the RNA-targeted therapeutic space for the past 26 years.”

The company is engaged in developing its late-stage Phase 3 drugs, nusinersen, volanesorsen and IONIS-TTRRx.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals’ shares will start trading under the new ticker symbol “IONS” on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, effective at the open of the market on December 22, 2015.

In addition, the web address of the company will be renamed ionispharma.com.