Although Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. has signed two large antisense deals in recent months, ISIP maintains that the resurgence of antisense technology occurred last year, when it presented preclinical diabetes data at the American Diabetes Association meeting in San Antonio. These data, the company believes, finally convinced potential partners that antisense has reached a stage where products may readily emerge.

Indeed, ISIP's data from the ADA meeting has led to two pharma collaborations in the past three months. Under a May deal, ISIP granted Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK, Whitehouse Station, N.J.) an exclusive license to its preclinical