Just a few days after I commented on the troubles that Isis Pharmaceuticals has had developing antisense DNA therapies, they've popped up with impressive clinical cardiovascular clinical data. Their latest hope, ISIS 301302, has shown some strong LDL-lowering effects, both as a single agent and in combination with statin therapy.
It's aimed at the production of a key LDL-transporting lipoprotein, apoB-100, which target the company correctly describes as "undruggable" through standard med-chem approaches. Of course, the RNA people are hot on its trail, too (these guys, for example). It's a good opportunity for these approaches, since the protein is of clear biochemical importance, and the site of its synthesis is in the liver and gut wall. Those, of course, are the first tissues that an oral drug sees, and (in the case of many antisense and RNAi attempts) the last ones, too. Going after something that lives there is a good strategy.
On a different topic, welcome more additions to the blogroll, such as Totally Medicinal, a med-chem blogger who's concentrating on the synthetic chemistry end of things. And there's Xcovery, a good kinase-o-centric site for those who can't get enough of 'em.
We now return you to our regularly scheduled site closure, already in progress. I've started a new category, "Closing Time", where my posts on that topic will go. There are a lot of odd blogworthy issues and loose ends associated with shutting down an operation like this. I'll be writing on them in the coming weeks, since many people will (fortunately) not have experienced the process firsthand.