ARTICLE | Emerging Company Profile

Aragon: AR-gone

Aragon aims to block, even destroy, hormone receptors in breast, prostate cancer

August 16, 2010 7:00 AM UTC

Aragon Pharmaceuticals Inc. is developing small molecules that it hopes will be more potent than other second-generation hormone receptor antagonists in the clinic, and last week began a Phase I/II trial of its lead ARN-509 to treat castration-resistant prostate cancer. The company also is working on third-generation molecules that go one step further by programming the receptors for proteasomal degradation.

Drugs that antagonize hormone receptors directly in their hormone binding domains have been around for years and are effective for treating patients at early stages of the disease. "But tumors are smart and evolve to become resistant within three to five years so that a patient will no longer respond to the hormonal therapy," according to President and CEO Richard Heyman...