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GEN News Highlights : Jul 27, 2010

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to Provide Shape Pharmaceuticals with $3.3M

Money will be used to progress preclinical topical histone deacetylase inhibitor.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Shape Pharmaceuticals entered into a partnership to advance the firm’s topical treatment for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) into clinical development. LLS will provide up to $3.3 million through its Therapy Acceleration Program (TAP) to support the remaining preclinical studies needed for an IND and a Phase Ib study.

The compound, SHP-141, was discovered by LLS-funded researcher James Bradner, M.D., of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Ralph Mazitschek, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital. Drs. Bradner and Mazitschek founded Shape in 2008 with funding and management from HealthCare Ventures.

SHP-141 is a small molecule, histone deacetylase inhibitor designed to result in activity directly on the skin without systemic exposure. By limiting systemic toxicity, SHP-141 has potential for application during the protracted early stages of CTCL in addition to during late-stage disease as part of a combination therapy. The clinical trial is expected to enroll patients in early 2011.