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Feb 18, 2013
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Signum: Rosacea double play

Signum Dermalogix targets both mechanisms underlying rosacea

Therapies on the market or in development for rosacea treat either the symptomatic flushing or the inflammatory skin lesions. Signum Dermalogix Inc.'s lead small molecule isoprenylcysteine analog could treat both aspects of rosacea by targeting key inflammatory pathways.

The isoprenylcysteine (IPC) motif occurs in multiple G proteins that interact with the intracellular domains of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). These interactions regulate multiple processes, including the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

In the early 1990s Jeffry Stock, a chemistry professor at Princeton University, developed small molecule IPC- analogs as tools to study the intracellular activity of G proteins. When he found the analogs had topical anti-inflammatory properties, he patented them.

In 2003 Stock co-founded Signum Biosciences Inc. to develop the IPC- and neurology-related IP he had generated at Princeton.

Because the IPC analogs were well into their patent lifespan, Signum Bio wanted to capitalize on the IP quickly, said Maxwell Stock, the scientist's son who is president and CEO of Signum Biosciences. "The molecules weren't...

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