SOURCE: Serenex

May 31, 2007 09:00 ET

Serenex Announces Initiation of Phase 1 Trial for Oral Hsp90 Inhibitor, SNX-5422

DURHAM, NC--(Marketwire - May 31, 2007) - Serenex, Inc., an integrated oncology-focused drug discovery and development company, today announced the initiation of a phase 1 trial for SNX-5422, its novel heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) inhibitor. SNX-5422 is a small molecule delivered orally and was discovered internally using Serenex's proprietary chemoproteomics technology platform.

"Based on recent research and discoveries, the scientific and medical communities have recognized Hsp90 inhibitors as a promising tool in the fight against cancer both as single agents and in combination with other therapies," said Richard Kent, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Serenex. "With the start of this trial, SNX-5422 becomes one of the very few totally synthetic, orally bioavailable Hsp90 inhibitors in the clinic."

The first phase 1 study will be a dose escalating trial involving up to 50 patients. The trial will evaluate safety, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of SNX-5422. This clinical trial will be conducted at the TGen Clinical Research Services at Scottsdale Healthcare in Scottsdale, AZ and at the Sarah Cannon Research Institute in Nashville, TN.

"Inhibition of Hsp90 has recently emerged as a very powerful way to inhibit multiple cancer pathways. We're keen to test SNX-5422 in a broad clinical setting," said Daniel Von Hoff, M.D., FACP, Senior Investigator and Head of Translational Research at the TGen in Scottsdale, Arizona.

"We're excited to be studying SNX-5422 in clinical trials and assessing the potential of this oral Hsp90 inhibitor as a novel therapeutic option for cancer patients," said Howard Burris, M.D., Director of Drug Development, Sarah Cannon Research Institute.

About Hsp90

Hsp90 is an important molecular chaperone protein that regulates the folding and degradation of key signaling molecules (client proteins) involved in cell growth and survival. Currently, over 100 proteins are thought to depend on Hsp90 to various degrees for survival. Hsp90 is an important drug target for anticancer agents because many of these client proteins are in pathways disrupted in cancer. Hsp90 is specifically activated in tumor cells where it controls multiple oncogenic proteins (e.g., Her2, Raf), and their downstream signaling molecules (e.g., Akt, Erk) that are critical to the proliferation and survival of tumors. Hsp90 stabilizes mutated proteins (e.g. v-Src) as well as fusion proteins resulting from chromosomal translocations (e.g., Bcr-Abl). Inhibition of Hsp90 leads to degradation of the client proteins, loss of signaling, and inhibition of cell growth.

About SNX-5422

SNX-5422 is a novel, synthetic, orally bioavailable small molecule discovered using the company's proprietary chemoproteomics discovery platform. In pre-clinical studies SNX-5422 has demonstrated strong efficacy in multiple tumor models as a single agent and in combination with other cancer therapies. SNX-5422 exhibits slow, tight-binding characteristics, a property that has been recognized as important in other targeted therapeutics. SNX-5422 is positioned as a break-through targeted therapy with broad applicability across a wide range of cancers.

About Serenex

Serenex is an integrated oncology-focused drug discovery and development company. Serenex's lead program, SNX-1012, a product for chemotherapy and radiation-induced oral mucositis in solid tumor patients, is scheduled to complete phase 2 clinical trials at the end of 2007. Oral mucositis, which represents a large and underserved market, frequently causes clinicians to interrupt therapy which directly leads to decreased rates of efficacy. Additionally, Serenex has a novel small molecule inhibitor of Heat Shock Protein 90 (Hsp90) in phase 1 clinical trials. Hsp90 is a central protein responsible for chaperoning a large number of oncogenic proteins (such as Her2 and Raf) that are necessary to support cancer cell survival and growth. Serenex's pipeline is powered by a proprietary high throughput screening platform which enables the company to profile compounds, en masse, against thousands of important therapeutic and toxicity targets. Website:

Contact Information

    Ian Howes
    CFO & Sr. V.P. Corporate Development
    Serenex, Inc.
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    Michelle Linn
    Linnden Communications.
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