December 1, 2010 / 6:29 PM / 8 years ago

Glaxo drops version of resveratrol "red wine" drug

* Ends development of SRT501 after disappointing results

* Continuing work on other promising compounds

* Glaxo acquired drug after buying Sirtris in 2008

LONDON, Dec 1 (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) has discontinued work on one version of a drug that mimics a health-boosting compound found in red wine, following disappointing clinical trial results.

Glaxo acquired the experimental medicine, known as SRT501, when it bought biotech company Sirtris Pharmaceuticals for $720 million in 2008.

But a mid-stage Phase II study of SRT501 in patients with multiple myeloma was suspended last May after some patients with the disease, which is a type of blood cancer, developed kidney problems.

A spokeswoman said on Wednesday the drugmaker had now decided to stop work on the SRT501 development programme, since the drug appeared to have limited efficacy in myeloma and might exacerbate kidney complications common in this patient group.

“Going forward, we’ve decided to focus our efforts on more selective SIRT1 activator compounds that have no chemical relationship to SRT501,” she said.

SRT501 is a proprietary formulation of resveratrol, a substance found in grapes and in red wine. Resveratrol is believed to provide a number of health benefits, including preventing heart disease and potentially slowing aging processes.

Glaxo has been testing SRT501 and other resveratrol compounds in a number of diseases, including cancer and diabetes. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Will Waterman)

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