Isis CEO Explains $192M Bristol-Myers Deal

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Isis Pharmaceuticals on Wednesday announced a deal -- worth up to $192 million -- in which Bristol-Myers will license Isis' early-stage cholesterol drug. Why is the pharmaceutical giant paying such a high price for something as yet untested on humans? Isis Chairman and CEO Stanley Crooke explained the deal to CNBC's Mike Huckman, on "Morning Call."

Bristol-Isis Drug Deal   

The Isis drug is generating "excitement," Crooke said, as it "clearly can lower bad cholesterol in a safe way." The CEO said how the drug works -- targeting a protein within the body called PCSK-9, which is supected to raise bad cholesterol --is "new" and "only approachable" vis Isis technology.

Though the PCSK-9 target-drug has only been tested on mice, Crooke said the appeal to Bristol-Myers had a precedent in another Isis drug, 30-1012. The latter had shown strong "performance in clinic," also lowering cholesterol "via a new mechanism." 30-1012 had been tested on "300 humans," and the drug showed a "spectacular Phase II performance," Crooke said.