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Isis Announces $1.2 Million Award to Its Ibis Subsidiary to Expand Influenza Detection Capabilities and Enable Large-Scale Influenza Transmission Studies

CARLSBAD, Calif., Sept. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISIS) announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Ibis Biosciences, Inc. (Ibis), has been awarded a subcontract of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to aid in influenza surveillance research through application of the Ibis T5000(TM) Biosensor System. The NIH grant, applied for jointly by Ibis and the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) and subcontracted to Ibis by LRRI, provides funding for research studies, including assay development, and sample characterization in order to expand the understanding of transmission of influenza viruses, including the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viral strain.

"We are excited to be working with the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, a world leader in respiratory disease surveillance, to aid in understanding the transmission of influenza viruses," said Michael Treble, President of Ibis and Vice President of Isis. "Our service laboratory capabilities provide us the flexibility to support important and diverse projects, such as this one with the LRRI. Consistent with our business model, with this government funding we will not only fulfill the grant's specified research and screening activities, but we will also be able to incorporate any results and assay kit improvements into our commercial offerings."

The award to Ibis will fund the development of expanded influenza detection capabilities with assays to uniquely identify and characterize influenza strains and aid in the tracking of influenza transmissions. Additionally, because of the high-throughput, cost-effective and highly specific characteristics of the Ibis T5000 Biosensor System, as part of the funded research, Ibis will be analyzing a large number of samples generated from the influenza surveillance research.

"This grant will enable us to continue to advance our research in understanding the transmission of viral particles in order to prevent pandemic spread of virulent respiratory diseases, including influenza," said Frederick T. Koster, M.D., Associate Scientist, Infectious Diseases Program, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute. "In order to screen large numbers of biological samples, we needed a technology partner that could provide high-resolution characterization of closely related viral strains, and could do so with appropriate sensitivity and high-throughput efficiency."

Respiratory diseases such as asthma, emphysema, influenza, and chronic bronchitis are on the increase worldwide. LRRI, one of the nation's largest independent research institutions and the only one focused solely on respiratory health, is committed to eradicating respiratory diseases through research aimed at understanding their causes and biological mechanisms, eliminating exposures to causal agents and developing more effective treatments.

Ibis' universal flu surveillance capabilities were described in a recent research study published in PLoS ONE in May 2007. In the study, Ibis' Dr. Sampath and colleagues report that they detected and correctly identified 92 mammalian and avian influenza isolates, including 29 avian H5N1 isolates. They also analyzed 656 human respiratory samples and showed correct, simultaneous identification of the viral species and subtypes with greater than 97 percent sensitivity and specificity.


Ibis Biosciences, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Isis Pharmaceuticals, has developed the Ibis T5000(TM) Biosensor System for rapid identification and characterization of infectious agents. The Ibis T5000 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. Bruker Daltonics, a subsidiary of Bruker BioSciences Corporation, is globally responsible for manufacture, order processing, installation and service of Ibis T5000 instruments. Ibis Biosciences develops, manufactures and markets Ibis T5000 assay kits. Additional information about Ibis Biosciences can be found by selecting the Ibis Biosciences link from Isis' homepage at

Ibis Biosciences has received development funding from U.S. government agencies including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and others.


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 17 drugs in development. Isis' drug development programs are focused on treating cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Isis' partners are developing drugs for a wide variety of diseases. Ibis Biosciences, Inc., Isis' wholly owned subsidiary, is developing and commercializing the Ibis T5000(TM) Biosensor System, a revolutionary system to identify infectious organisms. 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 Ibis T5000 Biosensor System, Ibis' technology, and the revenue potential of certain government 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, 2006, and its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2007, which are on file with the SEC. Copies of this 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, Ibis Biosciences and Ibis T5000 are registered trademarks or trademarks of Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

SOURCE Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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