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Synta Announces Publication of Results Showing Ganetespib Synergizes with Taxanes in Multiple Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Models

-Ganetespib and docetaxel display complementary cell cycle inhibition effects-

-Combination of ganetespib with microtubule stabilizers (docetaxel and paclitaxel) or destabilizers (vincristine) results in synergistic anticancer activity-

-Ganetespib and docetaxel combination currently being studied in a Phase 2b/3 clinical trial in non-small cell lung cancer-

LEXINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 16, 2012-- Synta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SNTA)Ganetespib, a non-ansamycin inhibitor of Hsp90, enhances the activity of the microtubule targeting docetaxel, paclitaxel, and vincristine in multiple non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) xenograft models according to an article published in the journal Investigational New Drugs. Ganetespib is currently being studied in combination with docetaxel in a Phase 2b/3 clinical trial (GALAXY) in non-small cell lung cancer.

“The results published today, the favorable safety profile from our Phase 1 ganetespib+docetaxel combination study, and the single agent activity seen in the Phase 2 NSCLC study are supportive of the GALAXY trial, which evaluates the combination of ganetespib with docetaxel,” said Vojo Vukovic, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer, Synta. “Today’s preclinical results complement a sizable scientific literature suggesting multiple points of synergy between microtubule targeting agents and Hsp90 inhibition.”

Results

In preclinical studies, both ganetespib and docetaxel displayed potent single agent anticancer activity in NSCLC cell lines (IC50 <10 nM) in part due to their distinct effects on cell division. Combining ganetespib with either microtubule stabilizers (docetaxel, paclitaxel) or a microtubule destabilizer (vincristine) in vitro resulted in a synergistic increase in NSCLC cell death compared to monotherapy. Importantly, these results translated to in vivo studies where the concurrent exposure to ganetespib and docetaxel was significantly more efficacious than either agent alone in 5 of 6 NSCLC xenograft models.

About Ganetespib

Ganetespib is the most advanced of the next-generation, synthetic Hsp90 inhibitors with over 450 patients treated to date and 20 trials recently completed, currently initiating, or actively enrolling, including the global Phase 2b/3 GALAXY TrialTM in second-line non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Ganetespib has shown anti-tumor activity in heavily pretreated patients with lung cancer, breast cancer, and other tumor types and has been well tolerated 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.

Interim results from the 240-patient Phase 2b portion of the GALAXY Trial are expected in the first half of 2012, and final data in the second half of the year. Interim results from trials in ALK+ NSCLC, HER2+ breast cancer, and triple-negative breast cancer are also expected in the second half of 2012.

Information on clinical trials with ganetespib can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov.

About 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. Many of the “client proteins” of Hsp90 – such as ALK, AKT, BCR-ABL, BRAF, KIT, MET, EGFR, FLT3, HER2, PDGFRA, VEGFR are the targets of clinically validated cancer drugs. In preclinical studies, inhibiting Hsp90 causes the degradation of multiple client proteins and leads to cancer cell death.

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.

Safe Harbor Statement

This media release may contain forward-looking statements about Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. Such forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "will", "would", "should", "expects", "anticipates", "intends", "plans", "believes", "may", "estimates", "predicts", "projects", or similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements, including statements relating to the timing, developments and progress of our ganetespib clinical and preclinical programs, reflect our current views with respect to future events and are based on assumptions and subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including those described in "Risk Factors" of our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Synta undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Source: Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp.

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