Isis advances to oral antisense

Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. has been working on antisense drugs for 11 years, gradually improving the chemistry of the antisense DNA. But antisense DNA is even more susceptible to enzymatic degradation than proteins, which had made systemic delivery challenging and oral delivery impossible.

In collaboration with Elan Corp. plc, ISIP now has developed a long-acting formulation of chemically modified DNA antisense. ISIS 10438, a solid oral antisense inhibitor of TNF-alpha for inflammatory diseases, last week entered Phase I trials that will compare ADME and pharmacokinetics of the oral form with the intravenous version.