This article was originally published in Start Up
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.
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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.
Coronado Biosciences in-licenses and develops cancer drugs. One of its candidates is apogossypol, an inhibitor of Bcl-2 proteins that play a role in programmed cell death--a process that cancer cells manage to circumvent. Also in the start-up's pipeline: a less-toxic anthracycline and an agent that activates natural killer cells against residual cancer cells following treatment.