GlaxoSmithKline has suspended enrollment in a clinical trial of SRT501 - a proprietary form of resveratol - assessing the drug in patients with multiple myeloma due to ‘unexpected’ safety events.

Resveratol can be found in the skin of grapes and is widely believed to give red wine its cardio-protective benefits. Formulations of this substance, which is also thought to have anti-ageing properties, are currently being assessed in numerous clinical trials including cancer prevention and diabetes.

GSK’s trial is looking at the safety and tolerability of SRT501 when administered alone or in combination with the cancer drug Velcade (bortezomib) at sites in the UK and Denmark, but has how been halted due to “unexpected safety events”, according to an update on clinicaltrials.gov.

Almost 20% of patients taking part in the trial developed a type of kidney damage that can be associated with multipe myeloma, something that has not been picked up in other trials with the drug, a company spokesperson told PharmaTimes UK News. However, the suspension is only temporary while data is analysed and some patients have decided to carry on taking part in the trial, she explained.

GlaxoSmithKline took SRT501 under its wing when it snapped up US group Sirtris Pharmaceuticals for $720 million in 2008.