While Isis Pharmaceuticals' name is originally taken from the Egyptian goddess of healing, the biotechnology company announced Friday that it will change its name to avert brand association with an extremist group.
Starting Tuesday, Isis Pharmaceuticals will be called Ionis (eye-OH-nis) Pharmaceuticals, continuing 25 years of manufacturing drugs for ailments such as heart disease and cancer.
Chief Operating Officer Lynne Parshall said they decided to go through a name change so that when people see or hear the company's name, they will think of the life-saving drugs that the company develops.
Sarah Boyce, the company's Chief Business Officer, said the name change was to avoid confusion with their unfortunate namesake.
In November, the biotech company said it was considering a change. Boyce said the name change has been an ongoing discussion for most of 2015.
"Obviously we were not named after a terrorist group," said Wade Walke, the company's spokesperson.
Walke said that up until the Paris attacks, the name change was not an immediate issue, but many were gravely affected by the tragedy. He said some of the company's employees are natives of France.
The name weighed heavily on the company, and they did not want to have that ill-fated association, he said.
After the Paris attacks, the company's stocks went down about 4 percent, perhaps an implication of the tragedy and the company's brand association.
However, Walke discounted the notion.
"I don't know if the name is having that much pressure on the stock per se," said Walke, adding that the company's shares had increased more than 15 percent in October.
The pharmaceutical company is currently valued at approximately $7 billion.
Meanwhile, other businesses in the same situation are dealing with it differently.
The Denver-based bookstore Isis Books and Gifts said it will not change its name, despite being vandalized after the Paris attacks.
In September last year, Tech Times reported that the Isis Wallet mobile app changed its name to Softcard to also avoid the unfortunate association with the terrorist group.
"However coincidental, we have no desire to share a name with this group and our hearts go out to those affected by this violence," said CEO Michael Abbott.
Abbott added their name change was rooted in their founding vision: to use the power of smartphones to guide consumers in finding a more efficient and safer way to shop, pay and save.