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Home Industry News GSK secures deal for Sirtris Pharmaceuticals

GSK secures deal for Sirtris Pharmaceuticals

25th April 2008

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has sealed a definitive agreement to buy drug development firm Sirtris Pharmaceuticals in deal worth $720 million (364.42 million pounds), the company has announced.

The acquisition will see GSK expand its metabolic, neurology, immunology and inflammation research by building on Sirtris’ studies into sirtuins, a group of enzymes that are believed to contribute to the ageing process.

Sirtris had carried out drug development work around the recently-discovered enzyme class, as it is believed to have the potential to generate “multiple clinically and commercially important products”, GSK said.

Moncef Slaoui, chairman of GSK Research and Development, said: “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.”

Under the deal, Sirtris will become part of GSK’s Drug Discovery division, although it will continue to act as an autonomous research unit from its laboratories in Cambridge, Massachusetts. All Sirtris employees will be retained.

GSK develops and markets vaccines, prescription medicines and consumer healthcare products. The company also spends the equivalent of £300,000 a minute on research and development.

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