SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 8, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Myrexis, Inc. (Nasdaq:MYRX), a biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel treatments for cancer, today presented key preclinical findings of the Company's novel oral anti-interferon (OAI), MPI-0485520, at the 74th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ACR/ARHP), in Atlanta, Georgia. A poster titled, "Inhibition of Cytosolic Nucleic Acid Receptor Pathways Using the Small Molecule IKKepsilon/TBK1 Kinase Inhibitor." showed that MPI-0485520 effectively suppressed the induction of several key pro-inflammatory proteins in vitro. The data supports the further evaluation of MPI-0485520 for the treatment of autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). "Our studies suggest MPI-0485520 may be an effective treatment for many autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus" said Robert Carlson, Ph.D., Vice President and Head of Research at Myrexis. "MPI-0485520 inhibits production of type-1 interferon response and by blocking this response with our IKKepsilon inhibitor, there is the potential for disrupting disease processes." Key Findings: MPI-0485520 is a potent and selective inhibitor of key pro-inflammatory kinases MPI-0485520 inhibits the activity of I kappa B kinase epsilon (IKK epsilon) and TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1), with picomolar potency. Conversely, MPI-0485520 did not significantly inhibit the activity of more than the 140 human kinases also tested in this study. MPI-0485520 suppresses on-target pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IFNalpha/beta and downstream interferon-stimulated genes The Company demonstrated that MPI-0485520 selectively inhibited production of many of the well known pro-inflammatory cytokines that are often induced in a diseased state. MPI-0485520 specifically suppressed the induction of type-1 interferon and several downstream interferon-stimulated genes including most notably, B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS). BLys which is the target of belimumab which is currently under review by the FDA for treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Unlike potential competitors, MPI-0485520 is a small molecule, rather than a biologic and therefore may be developed as a daily oral therapy, and Furthermore, MPI-0485520 it targets a more central immune response regulator and thus has the potential to be effective against a variety of autoimmune diseases.
In addition, currently unpublished studies show that MPI-0485520 potently, and in a dose-dependent manner, inhibits the development of the rheumatoid arthritis phenotype in the most commonly used pre-clinical model of the disease. These results further validate this exciting new target and reveal the potential to develop effective small molecule therapeutics for a wide variety of autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The Company looks forward to presenting these results and the supporting data at up-coming scientific conferences.A copy of the poster presented by Myrexis at the 74th Annual Scientific Meeting of the ACR/ARHP earlier today in Atlanta, Georgia, is available on-line at the Company's website, www.myrexis.com. About Myrexis, Inc. Myrexis, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel treatments for cancer. The Company has leveraged a unique understanding of the genetic causes of human disease to generate a strong pipeline of clinical and preclinical product candidates. These include compounds with distinct mechanisms of action and novel chemical structures that have first-in-class and/or best-in-class therapeutic potential. Myrexis is led by an experienced management team with expertise in human genetics, protein-protein interaction technology, chemical proteomic, drug discovery and clinical and commercial development. For more information, please visit www.myrexis.com .
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