Healthcare Industry News: Sirtris Pharmaceuticals
News Release - September 12, 2006
Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Hires Mike Jirousek as SVP of ResearchCAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Sept. 12, 2006--Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the leading sirtuin therapeutics company, announced the hiring of Mike Jirousek, Ph.D. as Senior Vice President of Research. Dr. Jirousek has worked in the pharmaceutical industry with a focus on drug discovery for more than fifteen years. He joins Sirtris from Pfizer La Jolla where he founded and led the Diabetes and Obesity Therapeutic Area. Prior to Pfizer, he held research positions at Abbott Laboratories and also Eli Lilly where he led groups focused in the metabolic field.
"Sirtris is delighted to welcome Mike, who brings to our team a wealth of experience in discovery research, particularly in the metabolic field," said Christoph Westphal, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals. "Mike's background and leadership further strengthen Sirtris' experienced management team as we continue to advance the breakthrough therapeutic potential of sirtuins to meet important unmet patient needs."
"We are pleased to welcome Mike to the Sirtris team, and I am looking forward to working with him as we develop drugs for diseases of aging such as Type 2 Diabetes. Mike's talents and background add to our ability to advance our clinical programs in metabolic diseases," said Peter Elliott, Ph.D. SVP and Head of Development.
During his time at Pfizer La Jolla, Mike initiated and grew the diabetes and obesity effort into a very productive group where his team produced several clinical candidates in a 5 year period. Dr. Jirousek has worked on a variety of drug discovery and development projects resulting in co-invention of and/or responsibility for bringing nine compounds (biologics and small molecules) into clinical trials for diabetes, diabetic complications, obesity, and cancer. Dr. Jirousek has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University with Robert Salomon and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University with Yoshito Kishi. Dr. Jirousek is active in several professional societies including the American Diabetes Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the American Chemical Society. He has co-authored over 160 peer reviewed publications, patents and abstracts.
"I am truly excited to join the Sirtris team," said Dr. Jirousek. "The promise of harnessing the recently-discovered sirtuin pathways to develop breakthrough therapeutics represents an incredible opportunity. I look forward to bringing my experience in the field and leadership capabilities to the team to help deliver a robust pipeline of novel products from Sirtris' leading sirtuin therapeutics platform."
Sirtuins are a recently discovered family of enzymes that promote normal cellular function. In particular, sirtuins improve the function of mitochondria which generate energy in cells. When organisms face adversity, sirtuins are activated as part of a natural process that maintains healthy function.
Therefore, sirtuins are attractive drug targets which may be therapeutically beneficial for diseases in which mitochondria are dysfunctional, often observed in diseases of aging. These diseases include metabolic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, neurological diseases, and other mitochondrial disorders. Sirtuin therapeutics offer the potential for a novel class of drugs that can treat significant diseases of aging in a new way.
About Sirtris Pharmaceuticals
Sirtris Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics that modulate sirtuins. Sirtris has the dominant sirtuin intellectual property estate and know-how with a comprehensive suite of reagents, proprietary assays, transgenic animal models, and biomarkers. Sirtris is building a robust pipeline of therapeutics for diseases of aging in the areas of metabolic and neurological diseases.
Sirtris Pharmaceuticals was founded in 2004 by Rich Aldrich, Richard Pops, Paul Schimmel, David Sinclair and Christoph Westphal and has raised a total of $82 million since inception from investors including: Bessemer Venture Partners, Cardinal Partners, Cargill Ventures, Genzyme Ventures, Novartis Bioventures Fund, Polaris Venture Partners, QVT Fund LP, Skyline Ventures, The Wellcome Trust, Three Arch Partners, TVM Capital. The company's headquarters are in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For additional information, please visit http://www.sirtrispharma.com.
Source: Sirtris Pharmaceuticals
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