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Resveratrol Studies Suggest Broad Implications for SIRT1 Activation,in Neurodegenerative Diseases of Aging Such as Alzheimer's Disease

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun 26, 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 activation of SIRT1, a member of the sirtuin family of enzymes, was shown to protect against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in animal models. These findings appear in an article published in Volume 26, Number 13 of The European Molecular Biology Organization Journal (EMBO), Kim et al., 2007 entitled "SIRT1 deacetylase protects against neurodegeneration in models for Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis" which is also available now in the advance online publication.

It is well established that a progressive loss of neurons with age underlies a variety of debilitating neurological disorders including Alzheimer's Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), neurodegenerative diseases which have been associated with reduced mitochondrial function. Sirtuins are a recently discovered class of enzymes that appear to affect the aging process in mammals and increase the number and function of mitochondria.

According to the findings in this paper, resveratrol, a SIRT1 activator, reduced the loss of neuronal function in the brain (hippocampus) and prevented learning impairment in a well established animal model of Alzheimer's Disease. This response was associated with SIRT1 dependent deacetylation of PGC1a. Resveratrol also promoted neuronal survival in cell based models of Alzheimer's Disease and ALS.

The three senior authors of the EMBO article include Sirtris co-founder and co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), David A. Sinclair, Ph.D., Department of Pathology and Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging, Harvard Medical School, and Sirtris SAB members Li-Huei Tsai
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