Isis Pharma Changes Its Name To Free Execs And Investors Of ‘Distraction’

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Isis Pharmaceuticals are changing their name… Can’t think why.

NEW YORK (AP) — Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., which shares a name with the Islamic State extremist group, has changed its name to Ionis Pharmaceuticals after resisting the change for some time.

The California pharmaceutical company whose name became a marketing headache with the rise of the terror group ISIS decided on Friday it was better to change its identity then fight. “We don’t want to talk about that terrorist group anymore,” said a spokesman for the company. “We have some exciting drugs in late-stage development coming out next year, and we want people talking about them.” The company considered keeping part of its legacy name — such as Gen-Isis or Sis-Gen — and also toyed with appropriating the identity of another Egyptian god. The biotechnology company said it will be called Ionis Pharmaceuticals starting 22 December and also changed its stock exchange ticker symbol to “IONS” from “ISIS”. “When you talk about the company you want people to immediately think about the incredible work you’re doing to deliver transformational drugs to patients … not as an unfortunate namesake.” The Carlsbad, California-based company’s stock dropped about 4% on the first trading day after the Paris attacks, for which Isis claimed responsibility. Animosity toward ISIS has grown to an extent that CEO Stan Crooke started worrying about the safety of employees while traveling and exchanging business cards, the spokesman said.

Ionis’ decision is understandable, especially given the publicly-traded company appears as “ISIS” on stock exchange tickers; not exactly an attractive target for potential investors. “Our goal is to create medicines that will save patients’ lives, and we are proud to be at the forefront of creating innovative medicines. Today it is a $7bn company with one cholesterol drug on the market and treatments in development for a plethora of diseases, including cancer and heart conditions. Islamic State, commonly known as Isis, IS and Daesh, have claimed responsibility for several violent attacks around the world, including the gun and bomb massacres in Paris last month. ‘They can easily distinguish between us and a Middle Eastern terrorist group,’ Vice President of Corporate Communications D.

Don’t you know what happened, they cut off people’s heads!’” The popular animated television series “Archer” is centered around the “International Secret Intelligence Service,” a fictional espionage agency. Though the show first aired in 2009, the producers bowed to the terrorists and wrote the agency out of the series, even pulling merchandise with the ISIS moniker from stores. There is one organization that has refused to give into Islamic State: the Institute for Science and International Security, a think-tank group which has used the name since 1993 when many Islamic State fighters were still in diapers.

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