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BioCommunique Article

Scientists describe how Oxy186 inhibits Hedgehog pathway signaling through a mechanism that is potentially more effective than other inhibitors of the pathway.

MAX BioPharma Publishes Report on Drug Candidate Oxysterol For Targeting Hedgehog Signaling in Cancer

  • 2019-06-12T22:32:00.000+0000
  • Los Angeles
  • Author: MAX BioPharma

In a peer-reviewed article published in May 2019 in the scientific journal, Cells, MAX BioPharma, a UCLA based startup company now in Santa Monica, California, reports on identification of a new oxysterol molecule, Oxy186, stemming from its Oxysterol Therapeutics® platform. Oxy186 inhibits key cancer signaling via the Hedgehog signaling pathway, which is involved in initiation, progression and spread of many human cancers by driving tumor cell proliferation and metastasis.

In the article, scientists at MAX BioPharma describe how Oxy186 (and other similar oxysterols) inhibits Hedgehog pathway signaling through a novel mechanism that is different and potentially more effective compared to other inhibitors of the pathway. Oxy186 inhibits proliferation of human lung cancer and pancreatic cancer cells and has attractive drug-like properties, such as oral bioavailability in mice with no evidence of toxicity. Frank Stappenbeck, Ph.D., Director of Chemistry at MAX BioPharma, states that “oxysterols are a very interesting starting point for the discovery of new drug candidates that can influence cellular signaling in cancer”.

MAX BioPharma currently has a number of lead drug candidates in its therapeutic development pipeline. “We are extremely excited about further developing Oxy186 and other oxysterol compounds in our pipeline to provide safer and more effective treatments for deadly human cancers as well as other diseases such as fibrosis and osteoporosis. The road ahead is challenging but as pioneers of Oxysterol Therapeutics®, leveraging our combined expertise in the fields of cellular and molecular biology, lipid biochemistry and drug discovery, we are hopeful that we will succeed.” says Farhad Parhami, Ph.D., M.B.A., President & CEO of MAX BioPharma.