Advancing Cancer Care by Targeting the Id Pathway: Treatments, Diagnostics & Prognostics


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The Id genes (Inhibitors of Differentiation, Id1-Id4) function at the translational level as a key control of cell formation and differentiation. A critical function of the Id genes is to promote the growth of normal cells and blood vessels early in the developing embryo. This activity, called angiogenesis, is required for normal fetal growth and survival. However, it has been clearly established that the Id genes cease functioning prior to birth. The importance of the Id proteins in cancer is that these genes are re-activated in the presence of a tumor to cause the formation of new blood vessels that then provide the nutrients for tumor growth and, eventually, metastasis to life-essential organs. The goal of the Company has been to discover and develop drugs that have anti-tumor actions by inhibiting the Id proteins. This has been accomplished by the discovery of a small molecule (AGX51) that is a potent inhibitor of Id proteins in animal models of tumor growth and metastasis.

A picture providing evidence of the profound effect of Id on production of new blood vessels which is one of the key processes needed for the growth and spread of cancer is provided below.