Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Ciba-Geigy Ltd. extended theirresearch collaboration another three years on Tuesday, bringing theterm of their antisense project to eight years. The new pact runs intoSeptember 1998.

Isis, of Carlsbad, Calif., signed the original five-year deal with Ciba-Geigy, of Basel, Switzerland, in 1990. That deal involved an $8.5million equity investment and research payments of about $4.7million per year. Neither company would disclose specific financialarrangements of the extended collaboration, nor the specificmolecular targets involved.

"This agreement pertains to continued work in the researchcollaboration," Jane Green, Isis' director, investor relations, toldBioWorld. "It's approximately at the same funding level as before."

Isis is developing oligonucleotides directed at messenger RNA withthe intention of blocking production of disease-causing proteins. Thecompany has three compounds in clinical trials, one in collaborationwith Tokyo-based Eisai Co. Ltd.

Last month Isis and Human Genome Sciences Inc., a gene-discoverycompany in Rockville, Md., formed a collaboration in which eachcompany is excluded from collaborating with another in the partner'sfield. Their goal is to find third-party partners to fund specificprojects.

Isis' stock (NASDAQ:ISIP) was unchanged Wednesday, closing at$6.06 per share. _ Jim Shrine

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