Sirtris Shifts Focus From Resveratrol, Merck Shifts People From Seattle to Boston, Epix Shifts Into Cost-Saving Mode, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

Xconomy Boston — 

Boston-area life sciences firms were awfully busy last week, particularly the public ones—and it wasn’t even all bad news.

—New York-based Antigenics (NASDAQ: AGEN), whose operations are based mainly in Lexington, MA, announced that it’s seeking European approval for its vaccine-based treatment for kidney cancer, vitespen (Oncophage). The treatment is so far only approved in Russia.

—Wade posted the video of his fascinating chat with legendary biotech startup partners Robert Langer, an MIT Institute Professor and Xconomist, and Terry McGuire, managing partner at Polaris Venture Partners. Conducted at our September 23 forum, “How to Build a Life Sciences Company,” the conversation offered a uniquely personal take on life sciences company creation from one of the best teams in the business.

—Cambridge, MA-based Targanta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:TARG) released data showing that fewer doses of its antibiotic oritavancin—which is awaiting FDA approval as a treatment for skin infections—are as safe and effective as a three-to-seven day course of therapy.

Neuroptix raised $18.5 million in a Series B financing round led by Inventages. The Acton, MA-based startup is developing a non-invasive test that uses an eye drop and a laser scanner to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease at its earliest stages.

—Ryan did some reporting (and a little eavesdropping) at the Boston Biotech R&D Conference, where he found the mood among local life sciences luminaries to be surprisingly optimistic. Christoph Westphal, one of the event’s organizers and the CEO of Cambridge, MA-based Sirtris, revealed … Next Page »

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5 responses to “Sirtris Shifts Focus From Resveratrol, Merck Shifts People From Seattle to Boston, Epix Shifts Into Cost-Saving Mode, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News”

  1. David Randall says:

    Sirtris is shifting focus from resveratrol because they realize they can’t compete in the resveratrol market – it is not a patentable compound; they assert resveratrol is not powerful but smart people know the real reason for the shift. All the while, more and more research is emerging that indicates resveratrol is far more powerful and effective and at much smaller doses than Sirtris origionally reported. Glaxo may have very well overpaid for Sirtis.

  2. I agree, resveratrol IS powerful in small doses and there is no need to make a drug 1000 stronger. 3 glasses of high resveratrol content red wine might as well do the trick.

  3. Resveratrol is part of a group on antioxidant compounds called polyphenols. Found normally and in minimal doses in red wine. Even though the benefits of Resveratrol capsules have been widely publicized up until recently, for decades Doctors around the world have recommended to drink 1 or 2 glasses of wine every day. Coincidentally in the Mediterranean countries, where drinking red wine part of the daily routine, have one of the lowest rates of heart diseases and serious cases of obesity are rare.

  4. In my blog, it states that to get the same effect as 1 ResVerXP pill, you would have to drink a THOUSAND bottles of Red Wine. I’m sorry, but you’d be dead. :)

  5. I was looking for a way to feel young and have some longevity. So you can imagine how I felt after finding Resveratrol… Didn’t believe in the fountain of youth but this is the next best thing!!! James Vernon