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GEN News Highlights : Dec 5, 2006

Semafore Receives Nearly $1M to Put First PI3K Inhibitor into Trial

Grant will help fund Phase I study of SF1126 in multiple myeloma patients.

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) awarded Semafore Pharmaceuticals an award of almost $1 million in relation to SF1126, a PI3K inhibitor, for treating multiple myeloma.

"This generous grant from the MMRF will enable us to rapidly initiate a clinical trial of SF1126 in multiple myeloma," says Joseph Garlich, Ph.D., president and chief scientist of Semafore. "The PI3 kinase pathway plays a key role in the signaling processes that are vital to cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis, yet there currently are no PI3K inhibitors in clinical trials."

The $996,380 grant will help fund drug manufacturing and patient costs of a Phase I trial in relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma patients. Semafore expects to begin the trial in 2007.

Last week, the company received an award from the Cancer Treatment Research Foundation to help fund a Phase I trial of SF1126 in solid cancers.

“Semafore's innovative approach that targets the Pl3 kinase pathway has shown significant promise in preclinical studies,” notes MMRF founder and CEO Kathy Giusti. “There currently are no Pl3K inhibitors in clinical trials, so it is fitting that this promising new approach is one of the first recipients of our new LEAD clinical awards program."

The MMRF's LEAD program is a multiyear research grant commitment intended to drive the development of innovative multiple myeloma treatments.