AMSTERDAM, Sept 1 An experimental drug from Isis
Pharmaceuticals produced a sharp reduction in levels of
triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood that increases the
risk of heart disease, a small mid-stage trial showed.
Codenamed ISIS-APOCIIIRx, the drug is attracting increased
attention from investors who believe it could be a big money
spinner for the U.S. biotech company. It is designed for
patients with very high to severely high triglyceride levels.
When tested as a monotherapy in the Phase II study, the drug
resulted in a reduction of up to 75 percent in triglycerides and
up to 79 percent in apolipoprotein C-III, another substance that
prevents triglycerides being cleared from the blood.
In addition, patients had mean increases of up to 57 percent
in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good", cholesterol, Dr.
Daniel Gaude of the University of Montreal told the European
Society of Cardiology annual meeting.
The findings were based on an interim analysis of 28
patients who completed 13 weeks of treatment with ISIS-APOCIIIRx
ISIS-APOCIIIRx was developed using the Isis's antisense
technology, which works by inhibiting a cell's production of