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Isis gains most in 11 years on diabetes drug trial results

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Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ISIS) climbed the most in more than 11 years on data showing the company’s experimental drug helped bring down diabetes patients’ triglyceride levels, an important measure of heart health.

Isis, based in Carlsbad, rose 29 percent to $28.42 at the close in New York, the largest single-day advance since Aug. 22, 2001. The shares reached their highest price since March 2000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Type 2 diabetes patients with high triglyceride levels saw a 72 percent reduction of the blood fat and a 40 percent increase in high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, the good type of cholesterol, according to a study. The data, from the second of three phases of clinical trials generally needed for regulatory approval, were presented Sunday at the American Diabetes Association meeting in Chicago, Isis said in a statement.

“Patients with high levels of triglycerides are at a significant risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke,” Joseph Witztum, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, said in the statement.

The study examined 11 patients over 13 weeks who either took the drug ISIS-APOCIII in a 300 milligram injection or a placebo. Two-to-one of the 11 were given the treatment, the company said in the statement.

The drug also showed a trend toward improvements in blood sugar control.

Isis’s focus is to bring the medication to market for patients who can’t reduce their triglyceride levels to a safe level with currently available drugs, Richard Geary, the company’s senior vice president of clinical development, said in the statement.


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