Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Delivers TIGER Biosensor System To The Department Of Homeland Security's National Bioforensic Analysis Center

CARLSBAD, Calif., Dec. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that its Ibis division has delivered a TIGER biosensor system to the Department of Homeland Security's National Bioforensic Analysis Center (NBFAC). NBFAC will use the TIGER biosensor system for microbial forensics, a type of forensics used in the investigation of crimes involving infectious organisms. Microbial forensics uses the "biological fingerprint" of an infectious organism to help pinpoint the source, allowing law enforcement and public health officials to effectively respond to a biological threat. The TIGER biosensor system is a revolutionary system that can simultaneously identify thousands of infectious organisms in a sample, without needing to know beforehand what might be present in the sample.

NBFAC, part of the Department of Homeland Security, was established as the lead Federal facility to conduct the technical forensic analysis and interpretation of materials recovered from biocrime or bioterrorist events. Ibis is deploying the TIGER biosensor system to NBFAC with support from the Department of Homeland of Security and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under a subcontract from San Diego-based Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).

"Evidence put through the TIGER biosensor system from a biocrime or terrorist attack will allow bioforensic analysts to differentiate closely-related infectious agents and their relatedness to other strains and species," said David J. Ecker, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of the Ibis division and Vice President of Isis Pharmaceuticals. "This information or the 'biological fingerprint' obtained from the TIGER system will enable highly precise strain identification, which is critical to bioforensic work and in solving crimes involving infectious organisms."

"Deploying a TIGER biosensor system to NBFAC, the nation's world-class center for microbial forensics, represents another significant step forward in executing our commercialization plan, and positions TIGER as a leading-edge technology in high-sensitivity forensics," said Michael Treble, President of the Ibis division and Vice President of Isis Pharmaceuticals. "The TIGER biosensor system's ability to rapidly identify and characterize infectious agents, such as anthrax, will provide the Department of Homeland Security with cutting-edge technology to enhance its microbial forensics capabilities."

"The utility of the TIGER biosensor system in microbial forensics is also applicable to additional commercial opportunities, where the ability to identify and contain emerging infectious diseases is key, such as in response to an epidemic of Avian flu or SARS," Mr. Treble added. "TIGER's ability to rapidly identify newly emerging organisms, down to the strain level, can provide public health officials and physicians with the critical information necessary to help track the spread of the infection, and ultimately, contain it. The TIGER system can also identify viruses, including mutated forms and previously unknown forms, which have the ability to outsmart traditional test methods. In addition, TIGER is able to identify co-pathogens associated with the infection, which are frequently present in rapidly spreading and severe infections. This information can allow physicians to effectively treat the infection with the potential not only to decrease mortality and morbidity, but also to contain the spread of infection."

Ibis has already delivered a TIGER biosensor system to the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) for use in biowarfare defense, and plans to deliver TIGER biosensor systems to the Naval Health Research Center and to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each for use in epidemiological surveillance.

From inception through September 30, 2005, Ibis has earned $44.8 million in revenue from government partners. An additional $10.5 million is committed under existing contracts and grants, with the potential for added funding.


Isis' Ibis division has developed the TIGER (Triangulation Identification for Genetic Evaluation of Risks) biosensor system, a revolutionary system to identify infectious organisms. Ibis plans to commercialize the TIGER biosensor system to government customers for use in biowarfare defense, epidemiological surveillance and forensics; and to non-government customers for use in pharmaceutical process control, hospital-associated infection control and infectious disease diagnostics. Additional information about Isis' Ibis division can be found at or accessed from Isis' homepage at

The Ibis division has been funded by U.S. government agencies including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and others.


Isis is exploiting its expertise in RNA to discover and develop novel drugs for its product pipeline and for its partners. The Company has successfully commercialized the world's first antisense drug and has 12 antisense drugs in development to treat metabolic, cardiovascular, ocular and inflammatory diseases, and cancer. In its Ibis division, Isis is developing and commercializing the TIGER biosensor system, a revolutionary system to identify infectious organisms. As an innovator in RNA-based drug discovery and development, Isis is the owner or exclusive licensee of approximately 1,500 issued patents worldwide. Additional information about Isis is available at

This press release includes forward-looking statements regarding the development and commercialization of Isis' TIGER biosensor system and related products, as well as the Company's plans and goals for the program. Any statement describing Isis' goals, expectations, intentions or beliefs is a forward-looking statement and should be considered an at-risk statement, including those statements that are described as Isis' goals. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, particularly those inherent in developing and commercializing systems to identify infectious organisms that are effective and commercially attractive, and in the endeavor of building a business around such products. Isis' forward-looking statements also involve assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove correct, could cause its results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward- looking statements. Although Isis' forward-looking statements reflect the good faith judgment of its management, these statements are based only on facts and factors currently known by Isis. As a result, you are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These and other risks concerning Isis' programs are described in additional detail in Isis' annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004, and its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2005, which are on file with the SEC. Copies of these and other documents are available from the Company.

Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

CONTACT: Navjot Rai, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications of IsisPharmaceuticals, Inc., +1-760-603-2331

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