(Adnkronos) – REHOVOT, Israel, June 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — SIRTLab Corporation, a pioneer in the manipulation of sirtuin proteins for the treatment of severe liver diseases and longevity, today announced the appointment of Michael G. Kauffman, MD, PhD, as Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Dr. Kauffman joins Boaz Misholi, Founder and Co-Chairman; Professor Haim Cohen, Founder and Chief Scientist; Hagit Ashush, PhD, Vice President, Research and Development; and Amir Shukrun, Chief Financial Officer. Dr. Kauffman’s appointment follows positive proof of concept preclinical data in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and longevity models.
Dr. Kauffman, a 25-year veteran of the biotechnology industry with major contributions to the approvals of three cancer drugs (Velcade®, Kyprolis® and Xpovio®) who most recently served as the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc. commented, “I am looking forward to my next chapter at SIRTLab. Having followed the sirtuin field for many years, I find the team’s results compelling – not only in NASH and other severe liver diseases but also for a variety of other diseases negatively affecting longevity.”
SIRTLab’s lead program is focused on high level expression of sirtuin 6 (SIRT6), a key orchestrator of responses to lipids, glucose and inflammation, based largely on the work of Professor Haim Cohen, initially at Harvard University and now at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv. SIRT6 suppresses triglyceride synthesis, fat metabolism and inflammation (by suppression of NF-kB and other pathways), as well as glycolysis. Professor Cohen’s lab, along with others, has shown that transgenic overexpression of SIRT6 leads to restoration of “youthful” energy homeostasis, improved metabolic profiles and significant prolongation of lifespan in mice. Furthermore, liver-specific deletion of SIRT6 in mice induces marked alterations in gene expression, leading to increased triglyceride synthesis, reduced fatty acid ß-oxidation, reduced increased glycolysis and fatty liver formation. Markedly lower levels of SIRT6 are found in the livers of patients with NASH, other forms of progressive liver dysfunction, acetaminophen overdoses and other diseases. SIRTLab has shown that elevation of SIRT6 levels using its technology normalized liver gross and histological appearance, improved liver function tests and reversed fatty liver progression.
“The recruitment of Dr. Kauffman represents a major advance for SIRTLab as we prepare to advance a completely novel class of agents for the treatment of NASH and other diseases,” said SIRTLab Founder and Co-Chairman Boaz Misholi. “Michael has a long and successful record of professional achievements in the development and approval of important novel drugs and in building highly successful biotechnology companies.”
As CEO and Co-Founder of Karyopharm, Dr. Kauffman led the Company from inception through commercialization of Selinexor (XPOVIO® and NEXPOVIO®). Prior, Dr. Kauffman was the CMO of Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., which acquired Proteolix Inc., leading the development of carfilzomib, a novel proteasome inhibitor approved in 2012 as KYPROLIS®. Dr. Kauffman was President and CEO of EPIX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (previously Predix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) from 2002 to 2008. He led the VELCADE® Development Program at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and held a number of senior positions at Millennium Predictive Medicine and Biogen. Dr. Kauffman received his MD and PhD from Johns Hopkins Medical School, trained in internal medicine and rheumatology at Beth Israel Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. He is board certified in internal medicine.
SIRTLab Corporation is a privately held liver diseases and longevity company headquartered in the Rehovot Science Park, Israel. Boaz Misholi and Professor Haim Cohen founded the company in 2013 based on the work of Professor Haim Cohen, which began at Harvard Medical School with Professor David Sinclair and continues in his laboratory at Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv; over $40M U.S. have been invested in Professor Cohen’s work. SIRTLab focuses on the pharmacological modulation of SIRT6, a key orchestrator of multiple processes involved in triglyceride and lipid metabolism, glucose, inflammation, chromosomal maintenance and cellular homeostasis. The Company anticipates that initial studies will focus on moderate to severe non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), with numerous additional applications including other chronic liver diseases, metabolic syndrome and multiple aspects of longevity.
Dr. Michael Kauffman +1-617-803-0097, Michael.K@SIRTLABCorp.com
Boaz Misholi +972-54-455-3555, Boaz.M@SIRTLABCorp.com
Amir Shukrun +972-54-764-6424, Amir.S@SIRTLABCorp.com
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