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What: Shares of Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IONS ) , a developer of antisense drugs, advanced as much as 24% after the company reported positive mid-stage data for ISIS-APOCIII Rx, its triglyceride-fighting drug for those with high-triglyceride levels and type 2 diabetes.
So what: Although the pool for this mid-stage trial was merely 11 patients, the results of APOCIII Rx were phenomenal. In the study, triglyceride levels fell by a whopping 72% while high-density lipoproteins (the good type of cholesterol) rose by 40%. According to Isis' press release, there were "improvements in other atherogenic lipid parameters" as well. The study also noted that APOCIII Rx led to increased insulin sensitivity, which improved patients' glycemic balance.
Now what: I know it's a bit early to start calling this drug a success, but it's hard not to get excited when the results are far and away better than any other triglyceride-reducing agent on the market. Isis is a unique biotechnology company in that the majority of its pipeline is based on partnerships. In fact, the company currently has 23 ongoing clinical trials (not counting preclinical trials) across a myriad of ailments, and 12 different development partners. Isis may not have a huge revenue stream at the moment, but it's well-positioned for success. Consider today's positive study just another reason to consider digging deeper into Isis.
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