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Ahead of the Bell: Isis Pharma shares climb

The Associated Press

Shares of Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. jumped more than 10 percent before the markets opened Monday after the drug developer said an experimental treatment for patients with high triglyceride levels in their blood showed potential in a mid-stage study.

The company said that patients taking the drug labeled ISIS-APOCIII Rx had significant reductions in both triglyceride and apolipoprotein C-III levels and an increase in "good" cholesterol. The study focused on patients with high triglyceride levels and type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the disease.

Triglycerides are a type of fat in the bloodstream, and patients with high levels are at a significant risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Apolipoprotein C-III is a protein produced by the liver that prevents the body from clearing triglycerides from the blood.

Isis discussed results from the 13-week study Sunday at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions in Chicago. Isis will report data from another mid-stage study later this summer.

The company plans to market the treatment for patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia who cannot reduce their triglycerides to save levels with currently available medicines.

Shares of Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., based in Carlsbad, Calif., climbed $2.26 to $24.25 in premarket trading. The stock price has more than doubled since the beginning of the year.