UPDATE 1-Isis Pharma's diabetes drug succeeds in mid-stage study

Wed May 14, 2014 8:38am EDT

(Adds detail, adds shares)

May 14 (Reuters) - Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc said its experimental type 2 diabetes drug reduced blood-sugar levels in patients in a mid-stage study, sending its shares up as much as 13 percent before the bell.

The study was testing two doses of the drug in 75 patients with type 2 diabetes with uncontrolled blood sugar despite standard treatment, the drugmaker said.

The drug works by interfering at the genetic level to prevent the formation of disease-causing proteins. Isis is also evaluating two other drugs to treat type 2 diabetes that use the same technology.

Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, is closely linked with obesity. It occurs when the body does not use insulin properly, leading to high blood sugar levels. The hormone insulin allows the body to use glucose and produce energy.

Isis's drug, ISIS-GCGRRx, works by blocking glucagon, a hormone produced in the pancreas that opposes the action of insulin.

An estimated 382 million people worldwide have diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation, with type 2 accounting for 90-95 percent of all cases.

Isis is also developing drugs for conditions such as spinal muscular atrophy, blood clotting disorders and cancer.

The Carlsbad, California-based company's were trading at $28.35 before the bell. They closed at $25.09 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday. (Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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