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April 8, 2008

Bristol-Myers Squibb Singles Out First Cardiovascular Drug Candidate for Development in Isis Partnership

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb reports that it has chosen a compound for further development as a treatment for cardiovascular diseases from its collaboration with Isis Pharmaceuticals. The decision triggered a $2 million milestone fee.

    In May 2007, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Isis inked a deal worth $192 million. Isis initially received $15 million and is entitled to $9 million in research support and another $166 million in success-based payments.

    The agreement covered antisense drugs that target proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin 9 (PCSK9). The selected candidate inhibits PCSK9 and could offer a complementary mechanism to current lipid-lowering therapies, according to the firms.

    PCSK9 helps regulate the amount of LDL-cholesterol in the bloodstream through its interactions with the LDL-receptor. Furthermore, genetic studies in humans have reportedly demonstrated that elevation in PCSK9 concentrations can lead to severely high concentrations of LDL-cholesterol, whereas low PCSK9 concentrations are associated with low LDL-cholesterol concentrations.