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Isis Announces Award of Up to $8.4 Million in New Government Grants and Contracts to Its Ibis Biosciences Subsidiary for Pathogen Detection and Human Forensics

CARLSBAD, Calif., Oct. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISIS) announced today that its majority-owned subsidiary, Ibis Biosciences, Inc. (Ibis), was awarded government grants and contracts from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and other government agencies totaling up to $8.4 million. These awards will fund the utilization of several Ibis assays through Ibis' service laboratory to characterize samples provided by the government sponsor and will provide support for further development of assays to support government-sponsored projects. The focus of these projects ranges from human forensics, to detection and identification of influenza viruses and other pathogens, that could have a profound effect on animal and human health.

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) agency awarded Ibis up to $4.2 million to fund the utilization of Ibis' commercial influenza assay to identify and differentiate avian influenza strains, to distinguish high pathogenicity from low pathogenicity strains, and to aid in the tracking of avian influenza transmissions. The contract also provides funding for the development of assays to detect a broad range of additional agricultural pathogens that are considered important to animal health and that could have a significant impact on the U.S.'s agricultural economy.

"We are pleased with the continuing support from our government partners and the opportunity to expand our commercial applications, especially in areas that are vital to our health and economy such as agriculture. As we work closely with the USDA to develop additional products that can aid in the monitoring and surveillance of avian flu, we will expand our detection assays to meet the needs of the agricultural community," said Michael Treble, President of Ibis and Vice President of Isis.

The NIJ also awarded Ibis a new two-year project that will fund the development and implementation of next-generation human forensics markers, which are measured on the Ibis T5000(TM) Biosensor System. In addition to the new USDA and NIJ contracts, Ibis also received new contracts from other government agencies that will fund expansion of pathogen detection and identification assays and use Ibis' assay services laboratory.

Additionally, with Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI), Ibis has successfully completed the first year of a National Institutes of Health grant in which the Ibis influenza assay characterized over 2,000 tissue extracts to study animal models of influenza transmission. Through LRRI, Ibis has been awarded the next year of funding to continue these efforts.

"The utilization of the Ibis platform by our existing partners and the cultivation of new projects with new government agencies is a testament to the broad applicability of our technology. The enthusiasm of our government partners to invest in our technology to meet their objectives in homeland security, animal and human health, and human forensics illustrates the breadth and depth of the Ibis platform," said Steven A. Hofstadler, Ph.D., Vice President of Ibis Research.

"To date, we have earned approximately $73 million in revenue to fund development of our biosensor system and our diverse commercial assays in many different areas including biodefense and infectious disease surveillance. We are now in the position to continue to fulfill our government contracts while focusing on clinical applications with Abbott and quickly moving into larger commercial markets," concluded Mr. Treble.


Ibis Biosciences, Inc., a majority-owned subsidiary of Isis Pharmaceuticals, has developed and is commercializing the Ibis T5000(TM) Biosensor System for rapid identification and characterization of infectious agents. The Ibis T5000 is currently intended for research use only and not for use in diagnostic procedures. It is capable of identifying virtually all bacteria, viruses and fungi, and can provide information about drug resistance, virulence and strain type of these pathogens. Commercial applications for the Ibis T5000 Biosensor System include epidemiologic surveillance, monitoring of pandemic diseases, identification of emerging or previously unknown pathogens, forensic characterization of human samples, identification of sources of hospital-associated infections, and, in the future, human infectious disease diagnostics. Ibis develops, manufactures and markets Ibis T5000 instruments and assay kits. Additional information about Ibis can be found by selecting the Ibis link from Isis' homepage at


Isis is exploiting its expertise in RNA to discover and develop novel drugs for its product pipeline and for its partners. The Company has successfully commercialized the world's first antisense drug and has 19 drugs in development. Isis' drug development programs are focused on treating cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Isis' partners are developing antisense drugs invented by Isis to treat a wide variety of diseases. Ibis Biosciences, Inc., Isis' majority-owned subsidiary, is developing and commercializing the Ibis T5000(TM) Biosensor System, a revolutionary system to identify infectious organisms. Isis is a joint owner of Regulus Therapeutics LLC, a joint venture focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of microRNA therapeutics. As an innovator in RNA-based drug discovery and development, Isis is the owner or exclusive licensee of over 1,500 issued patents worldwide. Additional information about Isis is available at

This press release includes forward-looking statements regarding the development and commercialization of the T5000 Biosensor System, Ibis' technology, and the revenue potential of certain government contracts and grants. Any statement describing Isis' goals, expectations, financial or other projections, intentions or beliefs is a forward-looking statement and should be considered an at-risk statement, including those statements that are described as Isis' goals or projections. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, particularly those inherent in the process of discovering, developing and commercializing drugs that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics, in developing and commercializing systems to identify infectious organisms that are effective and commercially attractive, and in the endeavor of building a business around such products. Isis' forward-looking statements also involve assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove correct, could cause its results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Although Isis' forward-looking statements reflect the good faith judgment of its management, these statements are based only on facts and factors currently known by Isis. As a result, you are cautioned not to rely on these forward- looking statements. These and other risks concerning Isis' programs are described in additional detail in Isis' annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, and its most recent quarterly report on Form 10- Q, which are on file with the SEC. Copies of these and other documents are available from the Company.

In this press release, unless the context requires otherwise, "Isis," "Company," "we," "our," and "us" refers to Isis Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiaries.

Isis Pharmaceuticals is a registered trademark of Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Ibis Biosciences and Ibis T5000 are trademarks of Ibis Biosciences, Inc. Regulus Therapeutics is a trademark of Regulus Therapeutics LLC.

SOURCE Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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