Isis Pharma's experimental blood thinner succeeds in mid-stage trial

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[May 22, 2014]   (Reuters) - Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc said its experimental blood thinner was more effective than a commonly prescribed anticoagulant in patients undergoing total knee replacement surgery.

The biotechnology company's stock rose about 2.8 percent in light trading before the bell on Thursday.

Isis said patients treated with a 300 mg dose of the drug, ISIS-FXIRx, experienced a significantly lower incidence of blood clots in their veins, compared to patients given the approved anticoagulant, enoxaparin, in a mid-stage study.

ISIS-FXIRx targets Factor XI, a clotting factor produced in the liver. High levels of Factor XI raises the risk of thrombosis, a condition where abnormal blood clot formation could lead to heart attacks and strokes.

The trial was evaluating 200 mg and 300 mg doses of Isis's treatment against enoxaparin in 300 patients.

The company said the 200 mg dose did not show any significant benefit over enoxaparin.

The Carlsbad, California-based company's shares closed at $23.20 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

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(Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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