by John McCamant, editor The Medical Technology Stock LetterIsis Pharmaceuticals
has hit a string of new 52 week highs in recent weeks; we believe the
main reason for the stock's strength is most likely the recent deal with
ISIS continues to strike partnerships that leverage
their very large pipeline and the partnerships keep coming earlier and
earlier in the drug development cycle.
The deal with Biogen requires ISIS to develop an antisense drug
development candidate for the treatment of myotonic dystrophy type 1
(DM1), which is also known as Steinert disease.
DM1 is the most
common form of muscular dystrophy in adults, a genetic neuromuscular
disease characterized by progressive muscle atrophy, weakness and
disabling muscle spasms.
ISIS' DM1 antisense program is being developed to correct the underlying genetic defect that causes DM1.
will receive an upfront payment of $12 million and is eligible to
receive up to $59 million in milestone payments. Post-Phase II, ISIS
could receive up to another $200 million in license fees and regulatory
The program is in pre-clinical
development, yet ISIS will still receive double digit royalties from any
drug that makes it to the market from this collaboration.
is a very impressive deal that allows a company to retain a double digit
royalty when the drug candidate has not even begun human testing.
CNBC's Jim Cramer touted the company a few weeks ago as being "immune to the current economic environment."
new investors come into the biotech space, it appears that they are
beginning to believe in ISIS' technology and most importantly its
ability to leverage the technology into partnerships that add to
Isis continues to execute very well and is
poised to maintain its momentum through the summer. We continue to rate
the stock a buy on pullbacks to $12.