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Synta Announces Poster Presentations at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting

LEXINGTON, Mass., Mar 16, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ: SNTA), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing small molecule drugs to treat severe medical conditions, today announced that Synta will present multiple posters at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 102nd Annual Meeting 2011 to be held April 2-6, 2011 in Orlando, FL. The presentations will include three posters on ganetespib (STA-9090), a potent inhibitor of Hsp90 and two posters on elesclomol, a small-molecule mitochondria metabolism inhibitor.

Ganetespib (STA-9090) Posters

Title: Potent anticancer actions of the Hsp90 inhibitor STA-9090 in wild-type EGFR models of lung cancer.
Abstract Number: 1638
April 4, 2011 8:00 - 12:00 p.m.
Session Title: Identification of Molecular Targets 1
Session Category: Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics 9
Poster Section 26
Board Number 27

Title: Phase I evaluation of STA-1474, a pro-drug of the novel HSP90 inhibitor STA-9090, in dogs with spontaneous cancer.
Abstract Number: 1282
April 4, 2011 8:00 - 12:00 p.m.
Session Title: Pharmacodynamics of Targeted Agents
Session Category: Clinical Research 4
Poster Section 12
Board Number 7

Title: Novel Hsp90 inhibitor, STA-9090, for combination with radiotherapy.
Abstract Number: 2677
April 4, 2011 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. (ET)
Session Title: Radiation Response Modifiers: Preclinical and Clinical Studies
Session Category: Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics 20
Poster Section 31
Board Number 21

Elesclomol Posters

Title: Downregulation of thioredoxin-1 confers resistance to cisplatin and sensitivity to the ROS generating agent elesclomol.
Abstract Number: 1692
April 4, 2011 8:00 - 12:00 p.m. (ET)
Session Title: Resistance to Chemotherapeutic Agents
Session Category: Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics 12
Poster Section 29
Board Number 1

Title: Elesclomol-Cu chelate selectively targets mitochondria to induce oxidative stress.
Abstract Number: 2093
April 4, 2011 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. (ET)
Session Title: Oxidative Stress and the Unfolded Protein Response
Session Category: Cellular and Molecular Biology 31
Poster Section 6
Board Number 26

About Ganetespib

Ganetespib (formerly STA-9090) is a potent, synthetic, small-molecule inhibitor of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90). Hsp90 is a molecular chaperone required for the proper folding and activation of many cancer-promoting proteins, and is recognized as a key facilitator of cancer cell growth and survival. In preclinical experiments, ganetespib has shown activity in multiple tumor models both as a single agent and in combination with certain widely used cancer agents. Ganetespib is currently being evaluated in a broad range of cancer clinical trials including trials in non-small cell lung, breast, prostrate, pancreatic, colorectal, gastric, small cell lung, ocular melanoma, liver, GIST and hematologic cancers. Ganetespib has shown evidence of clinical and biological activity and has been well tolerated to date with no evidence of severe liver or common ocular toxicities seen with other Hsp90 inhibitors. The most common adverse event seen to date has been diarrhea, which has been manageable with standard supportive care. Information on clinical trials with ganetespib can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov.

About Elesclomol

Elesclomol is a first-in-class, investigational drug candidate that triggers programmed cell death (apoptosis) in cancer cells through a novel mechanism: selectively targeting the electron transport chain in cancer cell mitochondria, disrupting cancer cell energy metabolism.

Elesclomol binds copper in plasma, which causes a change in conformation that enables its uptake through membranes and into cells. Elesclomol binds copper in an oxidative, positively charged, state called Cu(II). Once inside mitochondria, an interaction with the electron transport chain reduces the copper from Cu(II) to Cu(I), resulting in a cascade of redox reactions, a rapid increase of oxidative stress, disruption of mitochondrial energy production, and the initiation of the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway.

Mitochondria generate energy for cells, but also can induce apoptosis under certain conditions, such as a high level of oxidative stress. By sensitizing mitochondria and reducing barriers to apoptosis, elesclomol may provide a means to overcome resistance to traditional chemotherapy or targeted therapy.

Cancer cell mitochondria can be selectively targeted by elesclomol because cancer cell mitochondria are structurally and functionally different from their normal counterparts, making them more susceptible to changes to mitochondrial metabolism.

About Synta Pharmaceuticals

Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing small molecule drugs to extend and enhance the lives of patients with severe medical conditions, including cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases. Synta has a unique chemical compound library, an integrated discovery engine, and a diverse pipeline of clinical- and preclinical-stage drug candidates with distinct mechanisms of action and novel chemical structures. All Synta drug candidates were invented by Synta scientists using our compound library and discovery capabilities. For more information, please visit www.syntapharma.com.

SOURCE: Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp.

Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp.
Rob Kloppenburg, 781-541-7125