Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) recently announced the initiation of a phase Ib/IIa study on an
oncology candidate, ISIS-STAT3 (also known as AZD9150), for
advanced metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a type of
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The study will assess the efficacy and safety profile of
ISIS-STAT3 in HCC patients who have failed first-line treatment.
Last year, Isis Pharma had reported preliminary results from a
dose escalation phase I study of ISIS-STAT3. The candidate
demonstrated encouraging efficacy in treatment-refractory
advanced cancer patients and showed a promising safety profile.
Currently, another phase Ib/IIa trial is ongoing, evaluating the
use of ISIS-STAT3 in patients with advanced lymphomas.
Isis Pharma licensed ISIS-STAT3 to
) as part of an alliance. On Dec 11, 2012, Isis Pharma and
AstraZeneca entered into an agreement to discover and develop
five new generation antisense oncology candidate, including
As per the terms of the agreement, Isis received an upfront
payment of $25 million and expects to record a payment of $6
million in the second quarter of 2013 from AstraZeneca. Isis will
also receive milestone payments and royalties on the sale of
We believe that antisense technology (the main area of focus at
Isis Pharma) represents an exciting and potentially revolutionary
platform for developing therapeutic candidates to treat a wide
array of diseases.
Isis Pharma currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Stocks such as
Cleveland BioLabs, Inc.
) appear to be equally attractive. Both Athersys and Cleveland
BioLabs carry a Zacks Rank #1.