By Wayne Koberstein, Executive Editor, Life Science Leader magazine
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Hitting cachexia head-on by inhibiting its core melanocortin mechanism
Endevica Bio is developing a new treatment for cachexia, a severe wasting disease, critical to patients’ survival in cancer and other conditions. Although some previous therapies, such as cytokine inhibitors and mAbs targeting interleukins, have shown activity against cachexia, Endevica has narrowed the focus to the melanocortin system in the brain; in cachexia, the system triggers the release of cytokines that lead to hypermetabolism and its effects driving cachexia. Lead product, coded TCMCB07, attaches to the melanocortin- 4 (M-4) receptor to antagonize the cytokine release and relieve the condition. About to enter the IND-enabling stage for treating cachexia in pancreatic cancer, TCMCB07 is first in the company’s pipeline of peptides, including potential next-generation forms of M-4 inhibitors.