Isis Pharmaceuticals has initiated a Phase I study of ISIS-APOCIIIRx, an antisense drug designed to lower triglycerides to treat a variety of diseases associated with elevated triglycerides.
ISIS-APOCIIIRx works by inhibiting the production of apolipoprotein C-III (apoC-III), a traditionally "undruggable" target that plays an important role in the regulation of triglycerides.
Isis Cardiovascular Diseases Drug Discovery Research vice-president Rosanne Crooke said that many of the current therapies designed to lower triglycerides are associated with undesirable side effects such as flushing.
"In preclinical studies, antisense inhibition of apoC-III reduced the target mRNA and protein, lowered triglyceride levels in plasma, mitigated symptoms of metabolic syndrome and decreased atherosclerosis," Crooke added.
Hypertriglyceridemia is a condition characterised by elevated levels of triglycerides, which can result in numerous cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.