12:00 AM
 | 
Jan 19, 2009
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Agios: Choking off cancer's fuel supply

An underlying mechanism of drug resistance in cancer cells is the ability to shift dependencies on growth signals when one becomes unavailable. Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc. thinks it can circumvent this resistance mechanism with compounds that target cancer-specific metabolic enzymes to choke off the fuel supplies that cancer cells need for survival and proliferation.

Recent research has shown that many of the tumor signaling pathways mediated by oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes modulate metabolic functions that are important to cancer cell survival.

Agios' cell metabolism platform looks at how cellular metabolites and metabolic pathways interact, and identifies potentially druggable enzymatic targets along with new and existing compounds to target them.

The company's initial focus will be on two key metabolic pathways that fuel growth in cancer cells: glycolysis and fatty acid metabolism. Autophagy, a survival mechanism involving...

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