This article was originally published in Start Up
Virtual discovery company Emiliem is focused on kinase inhibitors for cancer. The company's K-STAR (Kinase Structure-Target Activity Relationship) platform incorporates new evidence from the scientific and patent literature into a model of kinase enzymes which play key roles in cell functions. Emiliem currently has candidates that target mTOR, Akt, and other kinase pathways; each drug candidate inhibits multiple kinases.
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A preview of the emerging health care companies profiled in the current issue of Start-Up. This month's profile group, "Targeted Cancer Therapeutics," features profiles of Coronado Biosciences, Emiliem and SynDevRx. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: Activaero, Chakshu Research, Myomo and Valor Medical.
In the past decade, a new paradigm has emerged in the form of drugs that target the genetic abnormalities that cause a normal cell to become cancerous. These targeted therapies are the fastest growing segment in the oncology market, and are poised to garner a respectable share of a global anti-cancer market projected to reach $70 billion by the end of this decade. Currently, there are 24 such compounds in Phase III clinical trials. The complex challenges in developing these drugs haven't deterred start-ups from entering the fray.
The lead candidate of SynDevRx is a validated anti-angiogenic small molecule, developed at the lab of Judah Folkman, conjugated to a polymer delivery system. It binds to MetAP2, a target that helps regulate blood vessel structure and permeability. When overexpressed, it helps to signal the formation of the new blood vessels that help sustain nutrient-starved tumors, and also plays a role in regulating programmed cell death.