Army finds infectious agents with biosensor system

CARLSBAD, Calif., 8 August 2005. Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that its Ibis division has shipped its first TIGER biosensor system to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Disease (USAMRIID), which will use the system to identify infectious agents for biowarfare defense.

Aug 8th, 2005

CARLSBAD, Calif., 8 August 2005. Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that its Ibis division has shipped its first TIGER biosensor system to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Disease (USAMRIID), which will use the system to identify infectious agents for biowarfare defense.

The TIGER (Triangulation Identification for Genetic Evaluation of Risks) biosensor system can simultaneously identify thousands of infectious organisms without needing to know what might be present in a sample.

Ibis is deploying the TIGER biosensor system with support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under a subcontract from San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC).

Ibis also plans to deliver a TIGER biosensor system this year to the Naval Health Research Center and to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each for use in epidemiological surveillance, and to the Department of Homeland Security, for use in microbial forensics.

"Shipping our first, automated high-throughput TIGER biosensor system is a major milestone in achieving our commercialization plan," said Michael Treble, president of Ibis and vice president of Isis. "Having met the rigorous standards of the Department of Defense, the TIGER biosensor system's specificity and sensitivity will allow USAMRIID to rapidly identify unexpected infectious organisms that have been difficult to identify using previously available methods. The TIGER biosensor system will also allow USAMRIID to efficiently analyze large numbers of environmental or human samples without the need to culture or sequence, providing the institute with the utility necessary for biowarfare defense."

"In addition to delivering TIGER biosensor systems to our government customers, we plan to sell TIGER systems to pharmaceutical and healthcare customers for pharmaceutical process control, healthcare-associated infections and eventually, infectious disease diagnostics," Mr. Treble added.

From inception through March 31, 2005, Ibis has earned $38.5 million in revenue from government partners. An additional $15.2 million is committed under existing contracts and grants, with the potential for added funding.

Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is exploiting its expertise in RNA to discover and develop novel drugs for its product pipeline and for its partners. The company has commercialized the world's first antisense drug and has 11 antisense drugs in development to treat metabolic, cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, and cancer.

The Ibis division has developed the TIGER (Triangulation Identification for Genetic Evaluation of Risks) biosensor system, a revolutionary system to identify infectious organisms. Ibis plans to commercialize the TIGER biosensor system to government customers for use in biowarfare defense, epidemiological surveillance and forensics; and to non-government customers for use in pharmaceutical process control, hospital-associated infection control and infectious disease diagnostics.

The Ibis division has been funded by U.S. government agencies including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and others. For more information, see www.ibistiger.com or www.isispharm.com.

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