Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ( ISIS ) recently
published encouraging new data in the journal Circulation
Research related to antisense technology. It was found that
antisense targeting of apolipoprotein C-III (apoC-III) showed
significant decline in apoC-III and triglycerides. Both apoC-III
and triglycerides are risk factors associated with cardiovascular
Isis Pharma currently has an antisense apoC-III inhibitor,
ISIS-APOCIII, in its pipeline. ISIS-APOCIII is being evaluated in a
phase II study for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia.
Top-line data from the study are expected to be released in
mid-2013. On completion of the phase II study the company plans to
initiate phase III study on the candidate.
We are impressed by the development of antisense technology and
believe that the number of potential therapeutic applications is
enormous. Antisense drugs may have significant potential to treat a
number of diseases where small molecules and biologic compounds
have failed. Although still in its early stage, antisense
technology with mechanisms such as small interfering RNA (siRNA),
RNA interference (RNAi), alternate splicing, and microRNA (mRNA)
have the potential to change how diseases are treated.
Earlier this year, Isis Pharma received a $7.5 million milestone
payment from GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK ). The payment
primarily relates to the initiation of a phase II/III clinical
study of ISIS-TTRRx. The study will span 15 months enrolling 200
patients. Isis is developing ISIS-TTRRx in collaboration with Glaxo
for the potential treatment of transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis.
We note that Isis Pharma's lead product, Kynamro (mipomersen
sodium), received FDA approval in Jan 2013 for the treatment of
familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Isis Pharma's partner
Sanofi ( SNY ) is marketing the
product in the US. Sanofi is also looking to get the drug approved
in the rest of the world including Europe.
Isis Pharma currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Cytokinetics, Inc. ( CYTK ) looks more
attractive in the pharma sector with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong
Buy).CYTOKINETCS INC (CYTK): Free Stock Analysis
ReportGLAXOSMITHKLINE (GSK): Free Stock Analysis
ReportISIS PHARMACEUT (ISIS): Free Stock Analysis
ReportSANOFI-AVENTIS (SNY): Free Stock Analysis
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