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Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Scientific Advisor Shows SIRT1 Activation Improves Huntington's Disease In Preclinical Model

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar 28, 2008 - Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRT), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing small molecule drugs to treat diseases of aging, announced that Sirtris Scientific Advisory Board Co-Chair Leonard P. Guarente, PhD, the Novartis Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is presenting new data showing that in a preclinical model of Huntington's disease, mice live longer and have less disease pathology in the brain with increased SIRT1 expression. Dr. Guarente will present the data at 12:00 pm, central European time, on Friday, March 28 at the Pasteur Institute, Paris and at 7:00 pm western European time on Monday, March 31 in a Joint Meeting of the British Societies for Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Warwick.

"These new data support the belief that SIRT1 is a potential therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases," says Dr. Guarente.

In research published last year in the European Molecular Biology Organization Journal, Sirtris Scientific Advisory Board members showed that activation of SIRT1, one member of the sirtuin family of enzymes, was neuroprotective in animal models for Alzheimer's Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

Also last year, in work published in the scientific journal Investigative Opthalmology & Visual Science, researchers found that SIRT1 activation with SRT501, Sirtris' proprietary formulation of resveratrol, was neuroprotective in a preclinical model for optic neuritis. "In this study, with lead investigator Kenneth Shindler, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania Scheie Eye Institute, we were able to show that SRT501 reduced the loss of retinal ganglion cells," says Peter Elliott, PhD, Sirtris Senior Vice President of Development. Optic neurtis, which is common in patients with multiple sclerosis, is a result of inflammation of the optic nerve and can cause complete or partial loss of vision.

"These neuroprotective data expand the promise for small molecule sirtuin activators as potential therapeutics for a broad range of diseases of aging," says Christoph Westphal, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chair of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals. Sirtris Pharmaceuticals is engaged in human clinical trials for diabetes and MELAS--a mitochondrial disease--and is planning similar trials in cancer.

About Sirtris Pharmaceuticals

Sirtris Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing proprietary, orally available, small molecule drugs with the potential to treat diseases associated with aging, including metabolic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes. Our drug candidates are designed to mimic certain beneficial health effects of calorie restriction, without requiring a change in eating habits, by activation of sirtuins, a recently discovered class of enzymes that the Company believes control the aging process. The company's headquarters are in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to, the potential therapeutic effects of SIRT1 expression and activation for diseases of aging, such as Type 2 Diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders; the progress and results of preclinical and clinical studies of SIRT1 activators; and the potential of sirtuin modulators to receive regulatory approval. These forward-looking statements about future expectations, plans and prospects of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals involve significant risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including risks related to the lack of results that would provide a basis for predicting whether any of the Company's product candidates will be safe or effective, or receive regulatory approval, the possibility that results of pre-clinical studies are not necessarily predictive of clinical trial results, the Company's potential inability to initiate and complete pre-clinical studies and clinical trials for its product candidates, the fact that none of the Company's product candidates has received regulatory approvals, the potential inability of the Company to gain market acceptance of the Company's product candidates, and those other risks factors that can be found in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from those Sirtris Pharmaceuticals contemplated by these forward-looking statements. Sirtris Pharmaceuticals does not undertake to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect a change in its views or events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release.


Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
John Lacey, 617-252-6920
Associate Director of Corporate Communications
Pure Communications
Sheryl Seapy, 949-608-0841

Posted: March 2008