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Isis Pharmaceuticals Adds Two New Drugs to Development Pipeline
Date:1/6/2011

CARLSBAD, Calif., Jan. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISIS) announced today that it has added two new drugs to its development pipeline, ISIS-FGFR4Rx and ISIS-STAT3Rx.  

ISIS-FGFR4Rx is designed to treat obesity by increasing metabolism, particularly by increasing lipid and fat burning.  ISIS-FGFR4Rx specifically blocks the production of fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) in the liver and fat tissue. In addition, ISIS-FGFR4Rx should not reduce FGFR4 expression in the central nervous system (CNS) or heart, thereby avoiding the CNS and cardiovascular side effects associated with many obesity drugs in development.  In preclinical studies, inhibition of FGFR4 lowered body weight and enhanced weight loss when administered as a single agent, in combination with a caloric-restricted diet and in combination with an appetite-suppressing drug and a caloric-restricted diet.  The reduction in body weight was accompanied by an improvement in insulin sensitivity. ISIS-FGFR4Rx was safe and well tolerated in multiple species.  ISIS-FGFR4Rx is the first drug in Isis' metabolic franchise to treat obesity.  

"Obesity has become an epidemic.  It is a condition that increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and some cancers, and an area where most centrally acting drugs have failed due to side-effects.  Consequently, our peripherally acting drugs such as ISIS-FGFR4Rx could have significant therapeutic benefit without the associated central nervous system toxicities that plague many other anti-obesity drugs.  Our ability to selectively target FGFR4 in only the tissues where FGFR4 plays an important role in modulating body weight, makes it an ideal target for our antisense technology," said Sanjay Bhanot, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President, Metabolic Disorders and Head of Translational Medicine
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SOURCE Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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