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Apr 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.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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