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ISIS ANNOUNCES THE ISSUANCE OF EPSTEIN-BARR VIRUS ANTISENSE PATENT

 CARLSBAD, Calif., Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ISIP) today announced the issuance of patent No. 5,242,906 entitled, "Antisense oligonucleotides against Epstein-Barr virus." The company is the exclusive licensee of the patent issued to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
 The patent relates to antisense oligonucleotides or oligonucleotide analogs which inhibit expression of the EBNA-1 gene of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Epstein-Barr is the cause of infectious mononucleosis and is involved in the development of several forms of cancer, including Burkitt's lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Once a person is infected, the virus remains permanently in the body in a latent or dormant form, in which the viral DNA is carried along in cells for successive generations. Up to 80 percent of the world's population is believed to be infected with EBV.
 Antiviral drugs are only effective against active viruses and are not effective against latent infections which can become active again at some later date. The protein produced by the EBNA-1 gene is required for maintenance of latent EBV infection. The oligonucleotides of this invention prevent the production of this viral protein and cure cells of the latent viral DNA.
 Isis Pharmaceuticals, located in Northern San Diego County, is engaged in the discovery and development of novel oligonucleotide-based human therapeutic compounds. Isis has a broad oligonucleotide research program and multiple compounds in preclinical development. The company's first oligonucleotide-based drug for human genital warts, ISIS 2105, is in pivotal Phase II clinical trials.
 -0- 9/7/93
 /CONTACT: Jacqueline Siegel, Ph.D., of Isis Pharmaceuticals, 619-931-9200; or Lorraine Ruff of Stoorza Ziegaus & Metzger, 619-236-1332/
 (ISIP)


CO: Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU:

JB-LM -- SD001 -- 9353 09/07/93 13:06 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 7, 1993
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