12:00 AM
Aug 19, 2013
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

PxRadia: Ceramide selectivity

PxRadia mAbs target ceramide build-up to treat GI radiation syndrome

PxRadia Inc. is developing a mAb that directly targets ceramide molecules in the cell membrane, blocking their ability to induce apoptosis in tissues subjected to stressors such as radiation. But the mAb doesn't impair normal ceramide synthesis or metabolism, meaning it may be safer than other ceramide-targeting compounds in development.

The company is pursuing gastrointestinal acute radiation syndrome (GI ARS), but also sees applications for preventing stem cell death in cytolytic T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases like graft-versus-host disease (GvHD).

Ceramide is an essential component of the healthy cell membrane, helping to regulate normal cell survival, proliferation and apoptosis. However, under the influence of a stressor such as radiation, ceramide levels may increase in the membrane, forming ceramide-rich domains or "platforms" that trigger apoptosis.

Prior approaches to blocking the proapoptotic effects of ceramide have focused on targeting ceramide biosynthesis and metabolism. Those approaches may have inhibited formation of proapoptotic ceramide-rich domains, but also ran the risk...

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