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Abbott and Isis Announce Hart-Scott-Rodino Clearance of Abbott's Acquisition of Ibis Biosciences, a Subsidiary of Isis

CARLSBAD, Calif. and ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Dec. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISIS) and Abbott (NYSE: ABT) announced today that they have received clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 for Abbott's purchase of the remaining equity ownership in Ibis Biosciences, Inc., an Isis subsidiary, which was a key condition to Abbott's acquisition of Ibis.

Last week, Abbott exercised its option to purchase Ibis. The closing of the acquisition is subject to the satisfaction of other terms and conditions of a stock purchase agreement between the parties and is expected to occur in January 2009.

About Ibis T5000 Biosensor System and Ibis Biosciences, Inc.

Ibis Biosciences, Inc., a majority-owned subsidiary of Isis Pharmaceuticals, has developed and is commercializing the Ibis T5000(TM) Biosensor System for rapid identification and characterization of infectious agents. The Ibis T5000 is currently intended for research use only and not for use in diagnostic procedures. It is capable of identifying virtually all bacteria, viruses and fungi, and can provide information about drug resistance, virulence and strain type of these pathogens. Commercial applications for the Ibis T5000 Biosensor System include epidemiologic surveillance, monitoring of pandemic diseases, identification of emerging or previously unknown pathogens, forensic characterization of human samples, identification of sources of hospital-associated infections, and, in the future, human infectious disease diagnostics. Ibis develops, manufactures and markets Ibis T5000 instruments and assay kits. Additional information about Ibis can be found by selecting the Ibis link from Isis' homepage at http://www.isispharm.com.

About Abbott Molecular

Abbott's molecular diagnostics business, headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., provides physicians with critical information based on the early detection of pathogens and key changes in patients' genes and chromosomes, allowing for earlier diagnosis, selection of appropriate therapies and monitoring of disease progression. The business includes instruments and reagents used to conduct sophisticated analysis of patient DNA and RNA.

About Abbott

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 68,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at http://www.abbott.com.

About Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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 19 drugs in development. Isis' drug development programs are focused on treating cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Isis' partners are developing antisense drugs invented by Isis to treat a wide variety of diseases. Isis is a joint owner of Regulus Therapeutics LLC, a joint venture focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of microRNA therapeutics. As an innovator in RNA-based drug discovery and development, Isis is the owner or exclusive licensee of over 1,500 issued patents worldwide. Additional information about Isis is available at http://www.isispharm.com.

This press release includes forward-looking statements regarding Isis Pharmaceuticals' business, the potential acquisition of Ibis by Abbott, the financial position and outlook for Isis as well as its Ibis Biosciences subsidiary and the commercial potential of Ibis' technologies and products in development. Any statement describing Isis' goals, expectations, financial or other projections, 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 or projections. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, particularly those inherent in the process of discovering, developing and commercializing drugs that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics, 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, 2007, and its most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q, which are on file with the SEC. Copies of these and other documents are available from the Company.

Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 -- A Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

Some statements in this news release may be forward-looking statements for the purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Abbott cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated. Economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect Abbott's operations are discussed in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," to Abbott's Annual Report on Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, and in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," to Abbott's Quarterly Reports on Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-Q for the quarters ended June 30, 2008, and September 30, 2008, and are incorporated by reference. Abbott undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments.

In this press release, unless the context requires otherwise, "Isis" and "Company" refers to Isis Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiaries and joint venture.

Isis Pharmaceuticals is a registered trademark of Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Ibis Biosciences and Ibis T5000 are trademarks of Ibis Biosciences, Inc. Regulus Therapeutics is a trademark of Regulus Therapeutics LLC.

SOURCE  Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Abbott
    -0-                             12/23/2008
    /CONTACT:  Don Braakman, Public Affairs, Diagnostics, +1-847-937-0080, or
+1-847-772-3263, or Tina Ventura, Director, Investor Relations,
+1-847-935-9390, both of Abbott; or Kristina Lemonidis, Associate Director,
Corporate Development, +1-760-603-2490, or Amy Blackley, Ph.D., Manager,
Corporate Communications, +1-760-603-2772, both of Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc./
    /Web site:  http://www.isispharm.com
                http://www.abbott.com /
    (ISIS ABT)

CO:  Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Abbott; Ibis Biosciences, Inc.

ST:  California, Illinois
IN:  HEA MTC BIO
SU:  TNM

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0764 12/23/200812:30 ESThttp://www.prnewswire.com