Indianapolis, IN – December 12, 2018 – Apexian Pharmaceuticals is shedding light on the question of how pre-leukemic cells transform into full-blown leukemia.
Genetic mutations by themselves are rarely enough to flip the switch. Inflammation also plays a role. But, until now, the question of “how” remained unanswered.
Apexian Chief Science Officer Mark Kelley, PhD, and his colleagues presented their findings at the American Society of Hematology’s December 1, 2018 meeting in San Diego, California. When a putative tumor-suppressor gene called TET2 does not function well, acute inflammation or infection can enhance the production of myeloid stem and progenitor cells in the bone marrow that are precursors to circulating mature myeloid cells. The TET2 loss of function amplifies; inflammatory proteins increase, and myeloid cells rapidly mature, increasing in sheer numbers as well as developing resistance to programmed cell death.
Myeloid cells, which contribute to immunity, are normally very short-lived. However, when those cells live too long or become too numerous, dangerous levels of inflammation can result. Using a mouse model, Kelley and his colleagues demonstrated that Apexian’s flagship compound APX3330 can prevent precancerous cells from proliferating and block cells from making inflammatory proteins.
Such anti-inflammatory therapy could be of clinical value in people carrying TET2 mutations.
“Apexian continues to develop a robust portfolio of APE1/Ref-1 compounds that have broad utility in oncology, hematology and other diseases”, says Steve Carchedi, President and CEO. “We are excited by the recent scientific findings and continue to expand our research and development beyond solid tumors”
APX3330 also has clinical utility with solid tumors. A Phase 1 trial for patients with advanced solid tumors is concluding.
About Apexian Pharmaceuticals
Apexian Pharmaceuticals is a patient-centered biotechnology company dedicated to developing novel anti-cancer compounds that target the multiple functions of the APE1 protein. Apexian’s research is grounded and driven by the belief that “better is always possible.” Please visit www.ApexianPharma.com for more information.
Roger D. Miller, COO