Boston, Massachusetts, April 25, 2011 -- Acetylon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced the addition of two members to its Scientific Advisory Board. Wayne William Hancock, MD, PhD, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Chief, Division of Transplantation Immunology at Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, and Tso-Pang Yao, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at Duke University Medical Center, join Acetylon’s Scientific Advisory Board as the Company is advancing its lead drug candidate, ACY-1215, a selective inhibitor of histone deacetylase-6 (HDAC6), into human clinical trials. The first indications targeted for Acetylon’s next-generation small molecule HDAC inhibitors are multiple myeloma and inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
“We welcome Drs. Hancock and Yao to Acetylon’s advisory board of scientific thought leaders. Their expertise in the biology of HDACs as applied to the treatment of inflammatory disorders and neurodegenerative diseases will help guide Acetylon in developing novel therapeutic opportunities at the same time as our lead drug candidate, ACY-1215, is entering a clinical trial for multiple myeloma,” said Walter Ogier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Acetylon Pharmaceuticals.
“We are particularly excited about the potential we are seeing in preclinical studies for highly selective, potent inhibitors of HDAC6 in treating diseases beyond cancer and about the therapeutic potential for modulation of other members of the Class II HDAC family – areas where Drs. Hancock and Yao have made major scientific contributions,” added Simon S. Jones, PhD, Acetylon’s Vice President of Biology and Preclinical Development.
Dr. Wayne W. Hancock is Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Transplantation Immunology at Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, both in Philadelphia. Dr. Hancock’s research is in the fields of transplant immunobiology, inflammation and mechanisms of disease. His research is focused on the functions of immune T regulatory (Treg) cells and related roles of Class II HDACs, including HDAC6, HDAC7 and HDAC9. He has also explored the role of HDAC inhibitors in the modulation of inflammatory response and Treg cell function as it relates to the modulation of autoimmunity and suppression of organ transplant rejection and graft-versus-host disease in bone marrow transplantation. Dr. Hancock received his M.B.B.S. (MD) and PhD in medicine from Monash University in Clayton, Australia and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.
Dr. Tso-Pang Yao is Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Duke University School of Medicine and Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Yao’s research focuses on identifying and characterizing novel regulatory functions of protein acetylation in cell signaling and human disease, with an emphasis on the roles of Class II HDACs. He studies the development of rational therapeutic strategies based on novel HDAC inhibitors, which show potent anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory activity as well as capability for blocking neurodegenerative diseases and muscular atrophy. Dr. Yao holds a PhD in biomedical science from the Salk Institute of the University of California, San Diego and completed a post-doctoral study in cancer biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.
Drs. Hancock and Yao join founding Acetylon Scientific Advisory Board members and Acetylon co-founders Kenneth (Ken) C. Anderson, MD (Chair), James (Jay) E. Bradner, MD and Ralph Mazitschek, PhD. Dr. Anderson is the Kraft Family Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Director of the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center and Lebow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, MA). Dr. Bradner is Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Mazitschek is Instructor at Harvard Medical School and the Center for Systems Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Acetylon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is applying its unique capabilities to discover and develop next-generation, highly selective small molecule drugs to realize the therapeutic potential of HDAC inhibition to treat cancer, autoimmune and other diseases, while reducing the side effects common to this class of drugs. The Company is based on technology initially developed at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and at Harvard University. http://www.acetylon.com
Walter C. Ogier
President and Chief Executive Officer
MacDougall Biomedical Communications