(Adds details, analyst comments; updates shares)
May 22 Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc said
its experimental blood thinner was more effective than a
commonly prescribed anticoagulant in patients undergoing total
knee replacement surgery.
The company's shares rose as much as 5 percent in early
trading on the Nasdaq.
Isis said patients treated with a 300 mg dose of the drug,
ISIS-FXIRx, experienced a significantly lower incidence of blood
clots in their veins, compared with patients given the approved
anticoagulant, enoxaparin, in a mid-stage trial.
Patients receiving Isis's treatment also experienced lower
rates of bleeding, the biotechnology company said on Thursday.
The reduced bleeding rate could offer an advantage over
existing therapies, Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a note.
The treatment was developed using Isis's "antisense"
technology, which helps a compound bind to a specific gene to
interrupt the production of disease-causing proteins.
ISIS-FXIRx targets Factor XI, a clotting factor produced in
the liver. High levels of Factor XI raises the risk of
thrombosis, a condition where abnormal blood clot formation
could lead to heart attacks and strokes.
The trial was evaluating 200 mg and 300 mg doses of Isis's
treatment against enoxaparin in 300 patients. The smaller dose
failed to show any significant benefit over enoxaparin.
"Due to the potential breadth of use as an anticoagulant, we
expect Isis will partner this program within the next year,"
Deutsche Bank analysts wrote.
Isis is developing 32 other drugs to treat a number of
diseases. The company's cholesterol drug, Kynamro, is sold by
partner Genzyme Corp, a unit of French drugmaker Sanofi SA
Carlsbad, California-based Isis's shares were up 4 percent
(Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bangalore; Editing by Savio
D'Souza and Kirti Pandey)