The integrin family of cell adhesion molecules is a well-studied group of molecules that includes clotting factors in blood. Adherex Technologies Inc. is focusing its efforts on a lesser-known adhesion molecule family, the cadhesins, which is responsible for like cells binding to form body tissues.

Adherex has developed a cadhesin-based discovery platform to identify small molecules that interact with cadhesins. The company is applying its technology in cancer and intends to expand to transdermal and cross-blood/brain barrier delivery as well as neural regeneration.