Myrexis to Provide Update on Heat Shock Protein 90 and Cancer Metabolism Inhibitor Programs at 102nd Annual Meeting of American Association for Cancer Research

/ Source: GlobeNewswire

SALT LAKE CITY, March 17, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Myrexis, Inc. (Nasdaq:MYRX), a biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel treatments for cancer, today announced it will present nine posters at the 102nd annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), April 2 – 6, 2011, in Orlando, Florida.

The posters will highlight key preclinical findings from two of Myrexis' oncology programs: MPC-3100, its fully synthetic, orally-bioavailable, non-geldanamycin heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) inhibitor, which is completing Phase 1 clinical studies in solid and hematological refractory cancer patients; and its unique cancer metabolism inhibitor, MPC-9528, which is currently in preclinical studies and has demonstrated dramatic tumor regression in animal models across multiple tumor types using a variety of dosing schedules.

Abstracts describing the upcoming presentations are available online at www.aacr.org.

About MPC-3100

MPC-3100 is a novel, fully-synthetic, orally-bioavailable, small-molecule inhibitor of heat shock protein 90 that is currently in Phase 1 clinical studies. MPC-3100 is structurally distinct from geldanamycin-derived Hsp90 inhibitors and this unique structure appears to reduce the off-target toxicities that are common to this group of drugs. In non-clinical studies, MPC-3100 demonstrated activity against multiple solid and hematological tumor cell lines, suggesting it may have the potential to treat a wide range of cancers. In the ongoing Phase 1 clinical study, MPC-3100 is administered orally on a daily, continuous schedule which non-clinical studies suggest may optimize drug exposure and improve outcomes.

About MPC-9528

MPC-9528 is an orally-bioavailable, small molecule Cancer Metabolism Inhibitor (CMI) discovered by Myrexis that is currently in preclinical 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 that many cancers, as much as 40% of all cancers, lose the ability to produce NAD by these alternative pathways and become absolutely dependent upon Nampt activity. Patients with these tumor types would be particularly responsive to MPC-9528 therapy and a simple companion diagnostic may be used to identify these patients. MPC-9528 has the potential to be the best-in-class Nampt inhibitor with promise 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 strong pipeline of clinical and preclinical 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 proteomic drug discovery and clinical and commercial development.

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Forward-looking statement safe harbor

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 candidates MPC-9528 and MPC-3100. 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.

CONTACT: Myrexis, Inc. Wayne Laslie, Chief Operating Officer (corporate) 801-214-7822 investor.relations@myrexis.com The Ruth Group Stephanie Carrington (investors) (646) 536-7017 scarrington@theruthgroup.com Jason Rando (media) (646) 536-7025 jrando@theruthgroup.com