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Paloma Pharmaceuticals Inc.

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Paloma Pharmaceuticals Inc. is initially opting for an ophthalmology indication for its PI3K program. It plans to bring its lead compound, an allosteric inhibitor, into clinical trials for age-related macular degeneration in 2010. If all goes well, Paloma might move the same compound into a Phase I oncology trial later that year.

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Arno Therapeutics

In addition to camptothecins and HDAC inhibitors, Arno Therapeutics Inc.'s pipeline of cancer candidates includes a Phase I agent that targets the PI3K/Akt pathway. Arno thinks it's potentially a first-in-class compound that could have broad activity against a range of solid and liquid tumors. Furthermore, preclinical data show synergy with approved targeted agents.

Intellikine Inc.

Intellikine is developing a group of compounds capable of selectively inhibiting different PI3K isoforms. It can mix and match components to achieve a variety of therapeutic goals. The company's lead program, an mTOR inhibitor for cancer, is nearing the clinic. The start-up also sees significant potential for its PI3 kinase inhibitors in inflammatory diseases and hopes to begin a Phase I trial in that area next year.

It's Apples Versus Oranges in the PI3 Kinase Race

Someone seeking a clinical space that offers a great deal of activity and anticipation, and where the major developments and dealmaking remain around the corner, would have to look no further than the PI3 kinase area. Early bets placed on PI3K pan-selective inhibitors may pay off, but smart money lately has been focused on isoform-selective inhibition of this signaling pathway implicated in cancer, inflammation, and autoimmune disease. In this issue, we profile three emerging companies hoping to succeed in developing PI3K inhibitors for diverse clinical applications: Arno Therapeutics, Intellikine, and Paloma Pharmaceuticals.

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