Healthcare Industry News:  mitochondrial disease 

Biopharmaceuticals Licensing

 News Release - November 30, 2006

Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Obtains Exclusive Rights to Key Sirtuin Technology from MIT

SIRT1-Related Technology from the Lab of Professor Leonard Guarente Strengthens Sirtris' Dominant Sirtuin Platform

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, the leading sirtuin therapeutics company, announced today that it obtained exclusive rights from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the discovery, development, and commercialization of an assay and gene therapy technologies using the SIRT1 gene, the best characterized of the recently-discovered family of sirtuin genes. This in-licensed technology, which was developed in the laboratory of Professor Leonard Guarente, (US Serial No. 11/404,146, "Sir2 Activity" and US Serial No. 10/993,903, "Method Of Extending Life Span") will enable Sirtris to further advance its robust sirtuin platform for developing therapeutics for diseases of aging, such as diabetes.

Activation of SIRT1 is believed to be a key pathway by which the body regulates such processes as glucose and insulin production, fat metabolism, and cell survival. Sirtris has applied this scientific discovery to the development of Sirtris' lead product candidate, SRT501, which activates SIRT1, for the treatment of diseases of aging such as metabolic and mitochondrial disorders. Sirtris is studying SRT501 as a drug candidate for Type 2 Diabetes in a human Phase 1b clinical study. In addition to SRT501, Sirtris has a robust pipeline of small molecule drug candidates that are potent SIRT1 activators.

"In-licensing the exclusive rights to these patents is part of our overall strategy to build the broadest platform of technology and intellectual property for the development of sirtuin therapeutics," said Karl Normington, MBA, Ph.D., Director of Intellectual Property, Sirtris Pharmaceuticals.

"We believe our internal efforts, combined with access to technology from premier academic institutions will continue to provide Sirtris with the leading capabilities in the field of sirtuins as we develop sirtuin therapeutics for diseases of aging," said Garen Bohlin, Chief Operating Officer of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals.

About Sirtuins

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 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 mitochondrial 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, and TVM Capital. The company's headquarters are in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For additional information, please visit

Source: Sirtris Pharmaceuticals

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