Isis Pharmaceuticals is changing its name to avoid any unwanted association with the Islamic State extremist group, the California company said.

It will now be called Ionis Pharmaceuticals, setting it clearly apart from the jihadists, whose acronyms include ISIS, IS and ISIL.

“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,” said Lynne Parshall, chief operating officer at Ionis Pharmaceuticals.

Wade Walke, spokesman for the company, said the name became “a big problem” after the Paris attacks last month, which were claimed by the IS extremist group.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals is known especially for its drugs for rare diseases.


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