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Isis Pharma drug reduces blood fat by 64 pct in mid-stage study

(Reuters) - Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc said its experimental drug reduced the level of triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood that increases the risk of heart diseases, by up to 64 percent in a mid-stage trial.

Shares of the company rose 2.4 percent to $31.80 in light trading before the bell.

Isis said the drug, codenamed ISIS-APOCIIIRx, was being tested in patients with high to severely elevated triglyceride levels, who were taking another drug to reduce blood fat.

Isis's drug raised the level of 'good' cholesterol in the blood by up to 52 percent.

"We believe this data solidifies ISIS-APOCIIIRx as one of the leading value drivers at Isis," Needham & Co analyst Chad Messer wrote in a note to clients.

ISIS-APOCIIIRx was developed using the company's antisense technology, which works by inhibiting a cell's production of disease-causing protein.

Isis is using the technology to develop drugs to treat heart diseases, metabolic diseases and cancer.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January approved Isis's drug Kynamro to treat a rare genetic disorder that causes high levels of bad cholesterol.

Isis said ISIS-APOCIIIRx was generally safe and well tolerated in the trial, which tested the drug in 26 patients.

Elevated triglyceride levels can increase the risk of heart disease and inflammation of the pancreas.

(Reporting By Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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