This agreement expands the January 2006 license and collaboration agreement between Pharmion and MethylGene for the research, development and commercialization of MethylGene's oncology HDAC inhibitors, led by MGCD0103 currently in Phase 2 clinical trials. Sirtuin inhibitors, the third epigenetic modality to be explored for anticancer activity by Pharmion, and the second in collaboration with MethylGene, are expected to be studied both as monotherapy and combination therapy in the treatment of cancer once a clinical candidate is identified. MethylGene has already identified a series of potent lead compounds, and Pharmion expects to file an initial Investigational New Drug (IND) application within the next 24 to 30 months.
"Sirtuins represent a new component of epigenetic tumor suppressor gene silencing that may potentially link some epigenetic changes associated with aging with those found in cancer, and, in particular, SIRT1 has emerged as a key contributor to the epigenetic silencing of genes that drive tumorigenesis," said Stephen B. Baylin, MD, Professor of Medicine and Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.
"By extending our collaboration with MethylGene to develop inhibitors
of sirtuins, we are extending our leadership position in the development of
epigenetic therapies, taking advantage of our translational medicine
expertise in the preclinical and clinical development of these agents, and
continuing the build out of our focused oncology pipeline," said Patrick J.
Mahaffy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pharmion. "With the
recent survival data demonstrated by Vidaza in higher-risk MDS, epigenetic
therapies are rapidly emerging as an important component of cancer therapy
and we believe that the sirtuins represent important new targets in the
|SOURCE Pharmion Corporation|
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