Logo
Contact    |    Site Map    |    Careers

 

History

1995-2004

Harvard University discovers many members of the histone deacetylase family of enzymes.

2003

Harvard University develops first small molecule inhibitor of HDAC6, a compound named tubacin because of its ability to enhance chemical “acetylation” of the intracellular protein tubulin.

2004

Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute recognize that HDAC6 inhibition could potentially play a crucial role in the treatment of multiple myeloma, certain forms of lymphoma and leukemia and inflammatory disorders.

2004-2008

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute collaborate in the lead optimization of further compounds with enhanced potency and selectivity for HDAC6 inhibition, using an “Iterative Biasing Chemistry” methodology.

2007

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute discover a new HDAC6-selective inhibitor shown to be highly active in killing multiple myeloma and other cancerous cells in in vitro disease models, while exhibiting low toxicity in other normal cell types.

2008

October

Acetylon Pharmaceuticals is co-founded by Harvard Medical School professors/researchers Kenneth C. Anderson, MD (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), James E. Bradner, MD (Dana-Farber / Broad Institute of Harvard/MIT) and Ralph Mazitschek, Ph.D. (Broad Institute), and by Marc A. Cohen (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute trustee) and Walter Ogier. Acetylon subsequently obtains an exclusive license to "Iterative Biasing Chemistry" methodology and the HDAC6-selective inhibitor program from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute.

2009

March

Acetylon Scientific Founders publish capabilities of Acetylon’s technology platform for the discovery of selective HDAC inhibitors (Nature Chemical Biology).

August

Acetylon announces a $7.25 million Series A financing with private investors and Walter Ogier is appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer.

2010

January

Acetylon announces a $2.0 million additional financing.

October

Acetylon awarded $500 thousand in Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Program grants from the NIH and IRS for its cancer and inflammation drug development programs.

December

Acetylon scientists present favorable results of oral selective HDAC6 inhibitor drug candidate ricolinostat (ACY-1215) in disease models of multiple myeloma and in preclinical safety testing at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

2011

February

Wayne W. Hancock MD, Ph.D. and Tso-Pang Yao Ph.D. join the Acetylon Scientific Advisory Board.

May

Acetylon and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society announce a partnership to advance ricolinostat for multiple myeloma, which includes funding from LLS to help support the first clinical trial of an HDAC6 inhibitor.

July

Acetylon completes a $28 million Series B financing with private investors.

September

Acetylon announces initiation in of a Phase 1-2a clinical trial of its lead drug candidate ricolinostat in relapsed and relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. The trial explores treatment with ricolinostat alone and in combination with bortezomib (Velcade, Millenium Pharmaceturicals) and dexamethasone, and will be conducted at several US medical centers.

December

Acetylon scientists and academic collaborators present favorable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic preclinical data for ricolinostat plus preclinical evidence for potential restoration of osteoblast function and normalization of bone disease in multiple myelomva by selective HDAC5 inhibition, with alone ricolinostat or in combination with bortezomib at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

2012

February

Pharmaceutical company Celgene invests $15 million in Acetylon to support expansion of the ricolinostat clinical development program and names Chief Commercial Officer Mark Alles as an observer to the Acetylon Board of Directors.

April

Acetylon is issued US Patent 8,148,526 covering its lead HDAC6 inhibitor drug candidate, ricolinostat.

July

Acetylon initiates a Phase 1b clinical trial of ricolinostat in combination with Celgene's Revlimid (lenalidomide) plus dexamethasone, for the treatment of relapsed and relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.

Acetylon advances its ongoing clinical trial of ricolinostat into Phase 1b combination with Takeda Millennium’s Velcade (bortezomib) plus dexamethasone.

December

Acetylon scientists and clinical investigators present favorable results of the first human clinical evaluation of ricolinostat in multiple myeloma at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), indicating that the drug was well tolerated and demonstrated evidence of anti-cancer activity in multiple myeloma patients with relapsed and refractory disease. Acetylon’s academic collaborators also present at ASH favorable preclinical disease model data for ricolinostat activity in non-Hodgkins lymphoma, both as a single agent and in synergistic combination with proteasome inhibition or Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibition. And Acetylon scientists and academic collaborators present at ASH the potential for selective, oral inhibitors of HDAC1 and HDAC2 to induce expression of fetal hemoglobin in human red blood cell precursors, indicating potential for treating beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease.

2013

June

Acetylon announces publication of interim Phase 1b clinical trial results of ricolinostat at the annual meeting of the European Hematology Association, including favorable tolerabilty and preliminary disease activity in combination with Revlimid plus low dose dexamethasone, in patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Acetylon collaborators at Columbia University also present preclinical evidence of biological activity of ricolinostat in non-Hodgkins lymphoma, both as a single agent and in synergistic combination with other anti-cancer agents including proteasome inhibitors, a BTK inhibitor, and PI3K inhibitors.

July

Acetylon and Celgene Corporation announce an exclusive strategic collaboration to advance the science of epigenetics, including an upfront $100 million payment by Celgene to advance Acetylon’s clinical and pipeline programs. Celgene also receives an exclusive option to acquire Acetylon on defined terms. Acetylon will remain in control of its development programs during the period of the option. Celgene’s previous acquisitions have generally left their R&D and clinical trials staffing and clinical development strategies intact following the acquisition. Celgene is the pharmaceutical industry global leader in anti-cancer drugs indicated for the treatment of multiple myeloma and also has major international presence in treating other types of cancer.

December

Acetylon and collaborators announced the presentation of interim clinical and preclinical data of ricolinostat in the treatment of multiple myeloma and lymphoma at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). In multiple myeloma, ricolinostat continued to demonstrate an excellent safety profile and clinical response signals in both the Phase 1b study in combination with bortezomib (Velcade®) and lenalidomide (Revlimid®). Ricolinostat also demonstrated synergy with next-generation compounds, pomalidomide, carfilzomib and ixazomib, in preclinical studies. In preclinical studies in lymphoma, ricolinostat demonstrated single-agent activity as well as synergy with a proteasome inhibitor, PI3K inhibitors and a Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor. In addition, Acetylon scientists presented data at ASH on the potential for their selective HDAC1/2 inhibitor to treat sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia by inducing fetal hemoglobin productions.

2014

March

Acetylon expanded its headquarters in Boston’s Innovation District to accommodate its continued organizational growth in support of additional clinical trials of ricolinostat in multiple myeloma and lymphoma.

June

Acetylon presented additional interim clinical results of ricolinostat in the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma at the annual meeting of the European Hematology Association. In this update, Acetylon announced that patients that were previously refractory to lenalidomide or bortezomib demonstrated clinical responses with the addition of ricolinostat. Ricolinostat continued to demonstrate an excellent safety profile and signs of clinical activity in both of the Phase 1b studies.

December

Acetylon announced the initiation of a Phase 2 study of ricolinostat in combination with pomalidomide (Pomalyst®) for the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. This event marked Acetylon’s entry into mid-stage clinical studies in multiple myeloma.