Bristol-Myers purchases Isis lipid-lowering drug candidate for $2M

Bristol-Myers Squibb has selected a compound from Isis Pharmaceuticals’ collaboration as a development candidate, for which Isis will receive a $2 million payment.

The two companies have an ongoing collaboration to identify antisense drugs that target proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin 9 (PCSK9) to help regulate the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream.

The selection of the development candidate marks the achievement of the first milestone in the collaboration, announced May 9, 2007. The Carlsbad, Calif.-based Isis said its compound was designed to inhibit the production of PCSK9 and could offer a new and complementary mechanism to current lipid-lowering therapies for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

“Our antisense technology is uniquely suited to provide viable clinical drug candidates for PCSK9 and other targets that are not accessible using standard drug discovery approaches. This newest development candidate is the third clinical candidate to arise from our cardiovascular drug discovery program within the past four years, and we look forward to working with Bristol-Myers Squibb to advance this drug through development,” said Brett Monia, PhD, vice president of antisense at Isis.