Weak efficacy, renal risks force GSK to dump a resveratrol program

GlaxoSmithKline is dumping its program for SRT501, a special formulation of resveratrol which the pharma company scooped up in the $720 million buyout of Sirtris in 2008.

GSK suspended a Phase IIa study for advanced multiple myeloma last May after several patients developed kidney failure. In a statement to FierceBiotech this morning, the pharma giant said that after a thorough analysis researchers concluded that that particular formulation "may only offer minimal efficacy while having a potential to indirectly exacerbate a renal complication common in this patient population." GSK went on to note that "there are no further plans to develop SRT501."

"Going forward," said GSK, "we've decided to focus our efforts on more selective SIRT1 activator compounds that have no chemical relationship to SRT501 and more favorable drug-like properties."

SRT501 is a special formulation of resveratrol, an ingredient in grapes that has been linked to a wide array of health benefits. Researchers had been evaluating the safety of the drug alone and in combination with Velcade when they spotted the cast nephropathy that developed in several patients with multiple myeloma.

The news was first reported this morning by the Myeloma Beacon.

- here's the report from the Myeloma Beacon