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Nov 2, 2012

Pfizer Pays Isis $1.25M in Scar Treatment Deal

  • Isis Pharmaceuticals will receive a $1.25 million contingent payment from Pfizer, which has been triggered by Pfizer’s decision to advance EXC 001 into a Phase II study. The candidate, an antisense oligonucleotide, is designed to interrupt the process of fibrosis by inhibiting expression of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF). CTGF is a growth factor that can be overexpressed in damaged skin or tissue following surgery or traumatic injury and lead to disfiguring skin scarring.

    Last year, Isis received $4.4 million for its equity ownership of Excaliard from Pfizer’s acquisition of Excaliard Pharmaceuticals. Excluding the $1.25 million, Isis is eligible to receive an additional $8.35 million in contingent payments upon achievement of various milestones associated with the clinical and commercial progress of EXC 001, also referred to as PF-06473871. Isis also remains eligible to receive milestone and royalty payments under its licensing agreement with Excaliard for EXC 001.

    “EXC 001 was co-discovered by Isis and Excaliard and developed to Phase II proof-of-principle by Excaliard. Pfizer’s commitment to advancing EXC 001 allows us to continue to benefit from our investment,” says B. Lynne Parshall, J.D., chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Isis. “The market opportunity to treat hypertrophic scars is very large, and Pfizer has the drug development expertise and global commercial infrastructure to support the continued advancement of EXC 001.”

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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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