GlaxoSmithKline will acquire Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc. for approximately $720 million in cash. The acquisition enhances GSK's metabolic, neurology, immunology and inflammation research efforts with sirtuins, a recently discovered class of enzymes believed to be involved in the ageing process. Sirtris Pharmaceuticals has established a drug discovery capability using sirtuin modulation for the treatment of human disease. Their focus has been on the development of SIRT1 activators for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM).
Sirtris will become part of GSK's Drug Discovery organization, while continuing to operate from labs in Cambridge, MA as an autonomous drug discovery unit. Dr. Christoph Westphal, chief executive officer and vice chair, and the Sirtris management team will continue to lead this unit.
"Modulation of this family of enzymes is a potentially transformative science that could address diseases associated with metabolism and ageing such as diabetes, muscle wasting, and neurodegeneration," commented Moncef Slaoui, chairman GSK R&D. "This acquisition continues GSK's strategy of pursuing the best new science, externally or internally, to bring new medicines to patients and value to the GSK pipeline. Our intent is to retain all Sirtris employees and continue the entrepreneurial and innovative culture they created."
Dr. Westphal commented, "We have built a dynamic and scientifically-driven organization. We expect this transaction will accelerate our vision to target sirtuins to treat diseases of metabolism and ageing and deliver tremendous value to patients, our shareholders and our employees. We look forward to working with GlaxoSmithKline and their world-class research, development and commercialization organization."
The acquisition, subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in 2Q08.