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ISIS PHARMACEUTICALS AND EISAI AGREE TO CODEVELOP ANTISENSE DRUG

 CARLSBAD, Calif., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ISIP) today announced that it has reached agreement with Eisai Co., Ltd. (NIKKEI: ESSAI) to codevelop an antisense oligonucleotide analogue effective against cytomegalovirus ("CMV") infections. Eisai and Isis have collaborated on CMV research since 1990.
 Under the agreement, Eisai has the option to license and codevelop antisense oligonucleotides from the program that meet pre-defined criteria. The exercise of this option is associated with payment of a milestone fee. Eisai has elected to exercise this option and has paid the first milestone fee. Oligonucleotides are short chains of nucleotides which, when bound to messenger RNA, can inhibit the production of disease-causing proteins.
 "Our CMV compound is currently undergoing preclinical tests required for submission of an IND with the F.D.A. We look forward to initiating trials in AIDS patients with retinitis induced by the virus at the successful completion of our preclinical studies," said Christopher Mirabelli, Ph.D., senior vice president, Research and Preclinical Development. It is estimated that approximately 20 percent of all AIDS patients contract a CMV infection.
 Eisai Co., Ltd. is a major Japanese pharmaceutical company. With more than 4,300 employees, Eisai has worldwide sales of $1.7 billion. The company has a research and development program and is striving to globalize its operations under the direction of Mr. Haruo Naito, president and chief executive officer.
 Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in northern San Diego County, is engaged in the discovery, development and marketing of novel human therapeutic products based on proprietary oligonucleotides. Isis has a broad oligonucleotide research program and its first oligonucleotide- based drug, ISIS 2105, is in Phase II clinical trials.
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 /CONTACT: B. Lynne Parshall of Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 619-929-2460, or Anthony J. Russo, Ph.D., of Noonan/Russo Communications, 212-979-9180, for Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc./
 (ISIP)


CO: Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Eisai Co., Ltd. ST: California IN: MTC SU: TNM

TS-OS -- NY012 -- 1568 01/05/93 09:09 EST
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Date:Jan 5, 1993
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