Cambridge, MA, November 28, 2007 - Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRT), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing small molecule drugs to treat diseases of aging, announced today that findings in the journal Nature demonstrate that Sirtris has developed novel drug candidates that offer a promising, new approach to treating diseases of aging, including Type 2 Diabetes, by targeting SIRT1, a gene that controls the aging process.
In November 2006, Sirtris scientists and Sirtris co-founder, Prof. David Sinclair from Harvard Medical School, published consecutive papers in the journals Cell and Nature showing that resveratrol, a SIRT1 activator found in red wine, could reduce the impact of a high fat diet, increase stamina two fold and significantly extend lifespan of mice. Unfortunately, it was estimated that a person would need to drink 1000 bottles of red wine to obtain an equivalent dose of resveratrol. Now, scientists at Sirtris have developed SIRT1 activating molecules that are chemically distinct from resveratrol and are 1000 times more potent.
"The new drug candidates represent a significant milestone because they are the first molecules that have been designed to act on genes that control the aging process. For this reason, we feel they have considerable potential to treat diseases of aging such as Type 2 Diabetes," said Christoph Westphal, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chair of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals. "The breakthrough in potency we have achieved with the novel chemical entities (NCEs) means that we can obtain the health benefits of resveratrol with a considerably lower dose."
The Nature paper from Sirtris shows that in diet-induced obese and genetically obese mice, Sirtris small molecule NCEs improve insulin sensitivity, lower plasma glucose levels and increase the function of mitochondria (the powerhouses of all cells). In another well-established preclinical model of Type 2 D
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