Evidence that Oxysterols Inhibit Hedgehog Signaling, a Tumorigenic Cellular Pathway

MAX BioPharma Announces Key Update on its Oxysterol Therapeutics™ Development Program: Publication of Evidence for Oxysterols that Inhibit Hedgehog Signaling, a Tumorigenic Cellular Pathway

MAX BioPharma, Inc. announced it has published the first evidence that specific oxysterols inhibit Hedgehog (Hh) signaling via a mechanism unlike that of Smoothened (Smo) antagonists. The results of multiple pre-clinical studies were accepted for publication in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, a prestigious peer-reviewed journal. The company has found that unlike other commercialized Hh pathway inhibitors, including FDA approved drugs vismodegib (Erivedge) and sonidegib (Odomzo) that target a specific receptor, Smo, on tumor cells and cells in the tumor microenvironment, certain oxysterols inhibit the oncogenic Hh pathway through distinct mechanisms that target steps downstream of Smo. Farhad Parhami, PhD, MBA, Founder and President of MAX BioPharma, commented that, “Because of this more effective inhibitory mechanism of action, we believe that our proprietary oxysterols will be robustly effective in inhibiting Hh signaling in tumors that use the pathway to grow and metastasize.” A number of human malignancies have been associated with unregulated activation of Hh signaling, including pancreatic cancer, leukemia, multiple myeloma and brain cancer. As part of its Oxysterol Therapeutics™ platform technology, the company is moving forward with development of its proprietary oxysterols that act as potent inhibitors of Hh signaling and tumor cell growth. William Matsui, MD, Co-Founder of MAX BioPharma and Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, commented that, “This finding could very well change our fundamental understanding of the Hh pathway, and how to target it for oncology applications. The therapeutic potential is vast, and we are excited to continue our development.”

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