updated 11/17/2010 8:16:24 AM ET 2010-11-17T13:16:24

SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 17, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Myrexis, Inc. (Nasdaq:MYRX), a biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel treatments for cancer, today presented two posters at the 22nd European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), National Cancer Institute (NCI) and American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Symposium on "Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics," in Berlin, Germany. The presentations further demonstrate best-in-class potential for the Company's cancer metabolism inhibitor, MPC-9528, which has previously been shown to cause profound and durable tumor regressions across multiple tumor types. 

MPC-9528 exhibited superior potency in enzymatic, cellular, and mouse xenograft models, compared to other small molecules that target the same metabolic enzyme. Furthermore, MPC-9528 demonstrated synergy with poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors, which are involved in DNA repair and are active against tumors with genetic deficiency for BRCA.

"Based upon the data we've collected to date, we remain confident in the best-in-class profile of our cancer metabolism inhibitor," said Robert Carlson, Ph.D., Vice President and Head of Research at Myrexis. "We are encouraged by the superior potency, therapeutic index and potential for broad therapeutic application of our compound. We are also excited about the opportunities for combination of MPC-9528 with other chemotherapeutics to achieve synergistic anti-tumor activity."

MPC-9528 inhibits cancer metabolism by targeting nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, or Nampt, a key enzyme in the primary pathway for producing nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which is required by all cells to carry out normal functions such as glucose metabolism, DNA repair and gene expression. By exploiting cancer cells' increased requirements for NAD, MPC-9528 is able to selectively inhibit the growth of tumor cells.

In a poster titled, "Anti-Tumor Activity of MPC-9528, GMX1778 and APO866: Nampt Inhibitors of Three Different Structural Classes," Myrexis showed that MPC-9528 was the most potent inhibitor of human Nampt and caused the most efficient NAD depletion and cell death in cancer cell lines in vitro. In addition, MPC-9528 also demonstrated the greatest in vivo potency in pre-clinical models.

Myrexis also presented a poster titled, "The Nampt Inhibitor MPC-9528 and the PARP Inhibitor Olaparib Synergize in Killing BRCA-Deficient Cancer Cell Lines." The Company demonstrated that MPC-9528 and oliparib inhibit PARP by distinct mechanisms, and as a result, are strongly synergistic against BRCA1 (-/-) and BRCA2 (-/-) cancer cell lines. Specifically, sub-lethal doses of MPC-9528 enhanced the potency of olaparib in a BRCA-dependent manner.

Myrexis expects to file an investigational new drug (IND) application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the end of the Company's fiscal year 2011.

About MPC-9528

MPC-9528 is an orally-bioavailable, small molecule Cancer Metabolism Inhibitor (CMI) discovered by Myrexis that is currently in pre-clinical development for the treatment of a variety of cancers. MPC-9528 potently and selectively inhibits nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, or Nampt, an enzyme critical for converting nicotinamide into nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). Cellular processes such as glucose metabolism, DNA repair and gene expression require and consume NAD. Cancer cells have increased NAD requirements and are highly sensitive to NAD depletion. Blocking the Nampt-NAD pathway severely inhibits cancer cell metabolism, resulting in energy deprivation and ultimately cell death. In animal models, MPC-9528 causes dramatic tumor regressions across multiple tumor types.

Normal healthy human cells produce NAD by a number of different pathways. Additional research however, indicates that many cancers, as much as 40% of all cancers, lose the ability to produce NAD by these alternative pathways and become highly dependent upon Nampt activity. Patients with these tumor types could be particularly responsive to MPC-9528 therapy and a simple companion diagnostic could be used to easily indentify these patients. MPC-9528 has the potential to be the best-in-class Nampt inhibitor with potential for treating a wide variety of cancers.

About Myrexis, Inc.

Myrexis, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel treatments for cancer. The Company has leveraged a unique understanding of the genetic causes of human disease to generate a robust pipeline of clinical and pre-clinical product candidates. These include compounds with distinct mechanisms of action and novel chemical structures that have first-in-class and/or best-in-class therapeutic potential. Myrexis is led by an experienced management team with expertise in human genetics, protein-protein interaction technology, chemical proteomics, drug discovery and clinical and commercial development.

The Company's oncology pipeline is led by Azixa (verubulin, MPC-6827), a novel small molecule microtubule destabilizing agent in Phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of brain cancers. Additional novel, potent, small molecule oncology compounds include MPC-3100, a fully-synthetic inhibitor of Hsp90 in Phase 1; and MPC-9528, a Cancer Metabolism Inhibitor (CMI) in IND-enabling studies. Myrexis is also evaluating MPI-0485520, an orally bioavailable, potent and selective small molecule inhibitor of type I interferon production that is being developed for cancer and chronic inflammation.

For more information, please visit www.myrexis.com .

The Myrexis, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6327

Myrexis and the Myrexis logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Myrexis, Inc. in the United States and foreign countries

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements relating to the attributes and potential efficacy of Myrexis' product candidate MPC-9528. These "forward-looking statements" are based on management's current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the factors discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" contained in Myrexis' Form 10-K, for the year ended June 30, 2010, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 13, 2010, as well as any updates to those risk factors filed from time to time in Myrexis' Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q or Current Reports on Form 8-K. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Myrexis undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.

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