iCo Therapeutics Selects Isis Pharmaceuticals to Manufacture and Supply iCo 007

Feb 15, 2006, 00:00 ET from iCo Therapeutics Inc.

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ - iCo Therapeutics Inc. announced today
 that it has selected Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:   ISIS) to manufacture
 and supply iCo 007. Under terms of the agreement, Isis will produce a
 sufficient quantity of iCo 007 for use in all Phase I and II studies. iCo 007
 is a second-generation antisense drug being developed by iCo Therapeutics for
 various eye diseases caused by the formation of new blood vessels including
 macular edema, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.
 Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
     "Isis was selected as our manufacturing partner based on their expertise
 and experience in antisense and oligonucleotide chemistry and manufacturing,"
 said Andrew Rae, President and Chief Executive Officer of iCo Therapeutics.
 "Isis' leadership in this area gives us great confidence in their ability to
 produce the cGMP grade material required as we move into human clinical
 testing with this compound."
     iCo 007 is an antisense inhibitor of c-Raf kinase, an enzyme important in
 the signal transduction pathway triggered by VEGF and other important growth
 factors. In preclinical studies, antisense inhibition of c-Raf kinase was
 associated with a reduction in the formation of new blood vessels in the eye,
 suggesting c-Raf kinase inhibition could be valuable in the treatment of both
 AMD and diabetic retinopathy. iCo plans to submit an Investigational New Drug
 Application (IND) for iCo 007 to the United States Food and Drug
 Administration (FDA) in the 4th quarter of 2006. iCo was licensed from Isis in
 August 2005.
     "We are pleased to be selected as iCo's manufacturing partner and look
 forward to the advancement of iCo 007 into human clinical trials," said
 C. Frank Bennett, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Antisense Research at Isis
 Pharmaceuticals. "Licensing iCo 007 is another example of our partnering
 programs to expand the reach and potential of antisense therapeutics and
 participate in the success of multiple companies and products."
     Antisense drugs are short, chemically-modified RNA-like and DNA-like
 molecules that scientists design to complement a small, specific segment of
 messenger RNA (mRNA). An antisense oligonucleotide hybridizes with a
 complementary target RNA to form a duplex. The formation of this duplex
 prevents the target RNA from functioning normally.
     Antisense inhibitors can target specific aspects of ocular disease
 processes and have ideal properties as therapies for the eye. The
 second-generation 2'MOE (2'-O-methoxyethyl modified oligonucleotides) class of
 compounds has been shown to exhibit favorable kinetics and excellent
 tolerability. The mechanism of action of antisense drugs enables the
 inhibition of genes that are not easily targeted with traditional small
 molecule or antibody therapies.
     iCo Therapeutics Inc. is an emerging, Vancouver-based biotechnology
 company focused on developing pre-existing drugs for a range of new conditions
 affecting isolated biological environments - areas such as the eye, spinal
 cord, or joints - where locally-administered application of these therapies
 would have minimal systemic distribution and fewer safety issues.
     For more information, visit the company website at:
     Business Development Contact:         Finance/Investor
     Dr. John Clement, CTO                 Mr. John Meekison, CFO
     604.602.9414                          604.602.9414
     Media Contact:
     Elayne Wandler, ABLE Communications

SOURCE iCo Therapeutics Inc.