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Colby Pharmaceutical Co.

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Colby Pharmaceutical aims to develop drugs capable of inhibiting key enzymatic and hormonal signaling pathways in prostate and brain cancers. The start-up hopes to help men who have been diagnosed with primary or recurrent prostate cancer, including those who have failed current standard of care hormone therapy or chemotherapy. The company's lead compound is an anti-inflammatory and anti-androgenic small molecule that binds the androgen receptor. In culture and in animals, Colby says that it is therapeutic for androgen-dependent prostate tumors. The molecule does not appear to be pro-estrogenic and CPC-100 is also therapeutic for androgen-independent prostate tumors-which would distinguish it from all other anti-androgens now on the market.

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Start-Up Previews (03/2009)

A preview of the emerging health care companies profiled in the current issue of Start-Up. This month's profile group, "Treating Late-Stage Prostate Cancer," features profiles of AndroBioSys, Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Colby Pharmaceuticals and Med Discovery. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: AeonClad Biomedical, Arete Therapeutics, Bonovo Orthopedics and Thrasos Therapeutics.

Med Discovery SA

Switzerland's Med Discovery was founded on the discovery of a prostate cancer target, human kallikrein 2, a key protease associated with prostate biology that is thought to contribute to cancer progression and development. The start-up's lead protease inhibitor targets hK2 and is based on the natural serine protease inhibitor ACT, which the company believes will avoid the selectivity and toxicities of other protease inhibitors. Med Discovery is developing the candidate for prostate cancer, but it believes it also has potential for treating skin disorders and for immunological treatment of cancer.

Treating Late-Stage Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer was the cause of 28,666 deaths in 2008, or 10% of cancer deaths in the US, and roughly 186,000 men are diagnosed with the disease each year. Docetaxel, a chemotherapeutic agent, is the only FDA-approved drug to treat late-stage prostate cancer, leaving a significant need that many biotechs and pharmaceutical firms are trying to meet. Results are starting to roll in from several key clinical trials of late-stage prostate cancer therapies. Start-ups embarking on drug development may face significant competition.

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