Company(ies): Curis, Genentech, Roche, Chugai Pharmaceutical
Principal Therapy Area: Cancer
£195 / $340 / €245
The Hedgehog (Hh) signalling pathway is thought to promote cell division in certain cell types, thus controlling growth and development of specific tissues within the body. In addition, it activates secondary signalling pathways that control the synthesis of angiogenic and growth factors. Research has been published suggesting that aberrant Hh signalling may contribute to the growth of certain cancers including basal cell carcinoma (BCC), small cell lung cancer (SCLC), and breast, colorectal, oesophageal, pancreatic and prostrate cancers. GDC-0449 is a Hh signalling pathway inhibitor, which represents a new generation of targeted cancer therapeutics.
Preclinical research has shown that subsets of colorectal, endometrial, ovarian and pancreatic cancers overexpress the Hh protein and further suggests that Hh protein produced by tumour cells may aid tumour growth by signalling adjacent cells to produce various angiogenic and growth factors. Systemic administration of a Hh antagonist has been shown to slow or halt the progression of tumours in preclinical pancreatic and colon cancer xenograft models. The data also suggest that Hh antagonists may have therapeutic value not just in cancers driven by mutations in the Hh signalling pathway, such as BCC, but also potentially in cancers for which Hh signalling is driven by overexpression of the Hh protein .
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