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ISIS PHARMACEUTICALS OBTAINS LICENSE TO LIPID FORMULATIONS TECHNOLOGY FROM VICAL

 ISIS PHARMACEUTICALS OBTAINS LICENSE
 TO LIPID FORMULATIONS TECHNOLOGY FROM VICAL
 CARLSBAD, Calif., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ISIP) announced today that it has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Vical Incorporated for the use of Vical's lipid technology in oligonucleotide-based human therapeutics. The details of the agreement were not disclosed.
 Cationic lipids are fat-like substances that, when mixed with biological macromolecules such as proteins and DNA, form stable complexes capable of delivering the biological material into cells and tissues. Cationic lipid technology has the potential to aid oligonucleotides in entering cells, which could increase their potency and effectiveness. Vical is a pioneer in the use of cationic lipids for the delivery of genetic material (in the form of DNA and RNA) as therapeutic agents.
 Isis scientists recently published the first report in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (Sept. 1991, Vol. 266, No. 27) demonstrating that lipids, similar to Vical's proprietary compounds, enhanced antisense oligonucleotide activity in mammalian cells. The data were extremely promising and contributed to Isis's interest in establishing a licensing agreement with Vical, according to Stanley T. Crooke, M.D., Ph.D., chairman and CEO of Isis.
 "One issue that we are addressing is how to deliver higher concentrations of our oligonucleotide products to target cells," said Dr. Christopher Mirabelli, senior vice president for research and preclinical development. "Our preliminary data indicate that cationic lipids will enhance oligonucleotide entry into the cytoplasm of cells in tissue culture experiments. We are anxious to evaluate whether we will see this enhancement in animal models of disease and skin penetration and, ultimately, in human patients. We believe that Vical is an excellent partner for us in this effort."
 "This is the first agreement we have entered into involving a therapeutic use of our cationic lipid technology," according to Dannie H. King, Ph.D., Vical's president and CEO. "We are particularly pleased to have Isis as our partner -- they are clearly the leading company in the antisense field."
 Vical, a privately held company located in San Diego, focuses on Gene Therapeutics(TM) technology, comprised of the direct administration of gene sequences as pharmaceutical products. Vical also develops new therapeutics using lipid chemistry to transform a broad range of drugs into novel molecular forms with improved properties.
 Located in northern San Diego county, Isis is engaged in the discovery, development and marketing of novel human therapeutic products based on antisense oligonucleotides. Isis recently received approval by the FDA to begin clinical trials on a new drug, the first antisense drug to be administered to humans, to treat human papillomavirus.
 -0- 3/11/92
 /CONTACT: B. Lynne Parshall of Isis Pharmaceuticals, 619-931-9200, or Anthony J. Russo of Noonan/Russo Communications, 212-979-9180, for Isis Pharmaceuticals; or Robert Zaugg of Vical, 619-453-9900, or Linda Seaton of The Gable Group, 619-234-1300/
 (ISIP) CO: Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU: LIC


SM-TS -- NY015 -- 7223 03/11/92 09:59 EST
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Date:Mar 11, 1992
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