Technology & Science
Our product development efforts were initiated by discoveries related to apoptosis, a tightly regulated form of cell death that can occur in response to internal stresses or external events such as exposure to radiation or toxic chemicals.
We have developed strategies to target the molecular mechanisms controlling apoptotic cell death for therapeutic benefit. These strategies take advantage of the fact that tumor and normal cells respond to apoptosis-inducing stresses differently due to tumor-specific defects in cellular signaling pathways such as inactivation of p53 (a pro-apoptosis regulator)21, 23, 19 and constitutive activation of NF-kB (a pro-survival regulator).13
Thus, we designed two oppositely-directed general therapeutic concepts:
- Temporary and reversible suppression of apoptosis in normal cells to protect healthy tissues from stress-induced damage using compounds categorized as Protectans (entolimod (CBLB502) Biodefense and Oncology and CBLB612)11, 12, 13, 15; and
- Reactivation of apoptosis in tumor cells to eliminate cancer using compounds categorized as Curaxins (CBL0137).29, 32
Our original paradigm surrounding therapeutic modulation of apoptosis resulted in identification of lead compounds for both tissue protection and cancer treatment. However, we now know the mechanisms of action of these compounds actually extend beyond regulation of apoptosis per se, thus presenting potential applications outside of what was originally envisioned. We currently have a number of compounds with diverse mechanisms of action in varying stages of development.