Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) has initiated a phase III study which will evaluate the use of
ISIS-APOCIIIRx in patients suffering from familial chylomicronemia
FCS is an orphan disease characterized by very high levels of
triglyceride (above 2,000 mg/dL). It is estimated to affect 3,000
to 5,000 patients across the world. FCS patients often suffer from
other health issues like recurrent episodes of pancreatitis.
The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, six-month study
will enroll approximately 50 FCS patients with the primary endpoint
being percentage change in fasting triglycerides from baseline
after three months of dosing.
We remind investors that earlier this year the company had reported
encouraging results from a phase II study on ISIS-APOCIIIRx in
patients with FCS. Isis Pharma stated that three FCS patients on
ISIS-APOCIIIRx experienced a significant reduction in triglycerides
- below 500 mg/dL - thereby leading to a significant decline in the
risk of an acute pancreatitis event.
Apart from developing ISIS-APOCIIIRx for patients with FCS, Isis
Pharma is also developing the candidate for patients suffering from
severely elevated triglycerides (greater than 880 mg/dL). The
company is planning to initiate a phase III program evaluating
ISIS-APOCIIIRx in patients suffering from severely elevated
triglycerides later this year.
Isis Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked
stocks in the health care sector include Amgen Inc. (
), Gilead Sciences Inc. (
) and Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (
). While Amgen and Gilead are Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks,
Alexion carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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