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."
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.