Acceleron Pharma announced plans to increase its headcount by 40 percent and double the size of its administrative, laboratory and manufacturing facilities in Cambridge, MA. "The new space is expected to house the company's second manufacturing facility for Growth and Differentiation Factors-related proteins," notes the Boston Business Journal. The company expects to begin Phase II studies with ACE-011 later this year and also plans to bring its second and third programs into the clinic by the end of 2008. These programs include the ACE-031 program for increasing skeletal muscle mass and strength and the ACE-041 program, which blocks the vessel maturation process.
Acceleron has gained notoriety for its work on therapies that regulate body tissues and systems. Researchers at the company often show a picture of the Belgian blue, a white bull with enormous muscles. The company believes the same kind of genetics at work in the Belgian blue would help repair the harsh physical damage of certain diseases. Back in February Celgene inked a $1.9 billion deal with Acceleron to develop three programs.