January 23, 2008

Mass High Tech

Acceleron wins $1M for bone cancer research

Cambridge biotech Acceleron Pharma Inc. has received a $1 million investment from the nonprofit Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation of Norwalk, Conn., to develop a bone-forming treatment for multiple myeloma patients, a company official said.Acceleron reports it has begun a new study to measure the safety of the treatment, called ACE-011, in patients. The trial is also expected to study the effects of the treatment on bones. The protein-based drug showed in earlier studies it could increase bone density in animals.Multiple myeloma is a form of cancer that starts in white blood cells that accumulate in bones, leading to weakened and broken bones, according to the National Institutes of Health.Acceleron is a privately held firm that develops drugs to control the growth of such tissues as bone, muscle and fat to treat musculoskeletal and metabolic conditions, as well as cancer. The company employs 90 workers, said Steven Ertel, vice president of corporate development.