SOURCE: Sapphire Therapeutics

April 26, 2007 09:30 ET

Sapphire Therapeutics, Inc. to Present Results From Anamorelin Phase 2 Cachexia/Anorexia Studies at ASCO and ENDO Annual Meetings in June

Ono Plans Japanese Phase 1 Study

BRIDGEWATER, NJ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 26, 2007 -- Sapphire Therapeutics, Inc., a private biopharmaceutical company that develops compounds acting within the ghrelin pathway to treat metabolic and oncologic diseases, has announced that results from Phase 2 studies of anamorelin (formerly known as RC-1291) in cancer cachexia/anorexia subjects in the United States have been accepted for presentation at the 2007 annual meetings of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) (June 1-5 in Chicago) and of the Endocrine Society (ENDO) (June 2-5 in Toronto). The presentation at ASCO will disclose the results from a 12-week randomized study comparing anamorelin treatment to placebo in cancer patients; the ENDO presentation will reveal data from a short-term crossover study in cancer patients.

The company also announced that Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Osaka, Japan), Sapphire's partner for anamorelin in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, plans to initiate Japanese Phase 1 clinical studies in the third quarter of 2007.

"We at Sapphire are delighted that two such prestigious scientific organizations as ASCO and ENDO will provide peer-reviewed forums for us to disseminate these anamorelin clinical data," said William Polvino, MD, president and CEO of Sapphire. "We are also delighted that the early phase of our partnership with Ono has been successful and look forward eagerly to continuing to work with the Ono team to advance this compound towards the market and bring the benefits of anamorelin treatment to patients with cancer anorexia/cachexia."

About Ghrelin and Anamorelin

Ghrelin is a circulating peptide hormone, principally produced in stomach cells, which has various physiological actions, including appetite stimulation and muscle-building (anabolic) effects. Anamorelin has similar physiological actions to those of ghrelin, but, unlike ghrelin itself, is orally active, and therefore could be an innovative treatment to improve impaired quality of life in cancer anorexia/cachexia patients.

About Cancer Anorexia/Cachexia

Cachexia affects many patients with chronic diseases, including AIDS, cancer, organ failure, and rheumatoid arthritis. Sometimes called "wasting," symptoms include loss of appetite (anorexia) and lean body mass. Cachexia frequently accompanies malignant cancers and is an independent risk factor for poor survival. To date, there are no approved treatments of ghrelin or ghrelin mimetics in the United States, Japan, Korea or Taiwan for cancer anorexia/cachexia. Anamorelin has been granted Fast Track status by the FDA.

About Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is an R&D-oriented pharmaceutical company specialized in creating innovative medicines in specific areas and is headquartered in Osaka, Japan. Anamorelin complements Ono's pipeline in cancer and supportive care medicines.

For more information, visit the company web site at

About Sapphire Therapeutics

Sapphire is a private biopharmaceutical company that develops promising small-molecule ghrelin mimetics to treat metabolic and oncologic diseases for which existing therapies are limited or marginally effective. Sapphire's pipeline consists of first-in-class, composition-of-matter protected compounds acting within the ghrelin pathway.

For more information, please visit Sapphire's web site at

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    William Polvino, MD
    Sapphire Therapeutics, Inc.
    (908) 203-6548
    Email Contact

    For Media:
    Ellen M. Martin
    Kureczka/Martin Associates
    (510) 832-2044
    Email Contact