CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 21, 2008--Sirtris
Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SIRT), a biopharmaceutical company focused on
discovering and developing small molecule drugs to treat diseases of
aging, announced today that it will collaborate with the National
Cancer Institute to test the anti-cancer impact of Sirtris' SIRT1
enzyme activators in numerous models of cancer.
"By providing the resources for this study, the National Cancer
Institute is accelerating the testing of our compounds in both solid
and hematological models of cancer," said Sirtris Pharmaceuticals
Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chair Christoph Westphal, MD, PhD.
"Cancer is the second leading cause of age-related mortality, and this
study will advance our understanding of SIRT1 activation and its
potential anti-cancer properties."
The study will include SRT501, a proprietary formulation of
resveratrol, and multiple compounds from different chemical classes of
Sirtris' new chemical entities, which are 1000 times more potent than
resveratrol in in-vitro studies. All of the compounds activate SIRT1,
an enzyme that has been shown to have anti-cancer properties in
previous preclinical testing.
"I am proud to be teaming again with Tom Sayers, the study's lead
investigator at the National Cancer Institute," said Peter Elliott,
Senior Vice President and Head of Development at Sirtris
Pharmaceuticals. "Several years ago Tom and I worked successfully
together on the development of the anti-cancer drug Velcade, and now
we are exploring an exciting new opportunity for targeting cancers
using SIRT1 activators."
The National Cancer Institute will test the compounds in
well-established cancer cell lines which were previously used in the
development of novel and existing chemo-therapeutics. The cell lines
to be tested include some of the most common cancer types. The program
will also test Sirtris' compounds using in-vivo mouse tumor models to
determine if the compounds reduce or limit the growth of the tumor
Previous studies have shown that calorie restriction--a method
which has been shown to increase SIRT1 activation--can exert strong
tumor suppressor effects in mammals and increase lifespan in
organisms. Through direct activation of the SIRT1 enzyme with Sirtris'
compounds, researchers in this study will be able explore the enzyme's
role in tumor suppression along multiple pathways.
About Sirtris Pharmaceuticals
Sirtris Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on
discovering and developing proprietary, orally available, small
molecule drugs with the potential to treat diseases associated with
aging, including metabolic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes. Our drug
candidates are designed to mimic certain beneficial health effects of
calorie restriction, without requiring a change in eating habits, by
activation of sirtuins, a recently discovered class of enzymes that
the Company believes control the aging process. The company's
headquarters are in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the
meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such
statements include, but are not limited to, the potential therapeutic
effects of SIRT1 activators, including SRT501 and Sirtris' NCEs for
diseases of aging, such as Type 2 Diabetes and cancer; the progress
and results of pre-clinical studies of SIRT1 activators; and the
potential of sirtuin modulators to receive regulatory approval. These
forward-looking statements about future expectations, plans and
prospects of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals involve significant risks,
uncertainties and assumptions, including risks related to the lack of
results that would provide a basis for predicting whether any of the
Company's product candidates will be safe or effective, or receive
regulatory approval, the possibility that results of pre-clinical
studies are not necessarily predictive of clinical trial results, the
Company's potential inability to initiate and complete pre-clinical
studies and clinical trials for its product candidates, the fact that
none of the Company's product candidates has received regulatory
approvals, the potential inability of the Company to gain market
acceptance of the Company's product candidates, and those other risks
factors that can be found in the Company's filings with the Securities
and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from
those Sirtris Pharmaceuticals contemplated by these forward-looking
statements. Sirtris Pharmaceuticals does not undertake to update any
of these forward-looking statements to reflect a change in its views
or events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release.
CONTACT: Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Investor and Media Contact:
John Lacey, 617-252-6920
Associate Director of Corporate Communications
For Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Sheryl Seapy, 949-608-0841
SOURCE: Sirtris Pharmaceuticals