Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and there is a continuing need to provide new, safer cancer drugs to patients. We at NexusPharma are actively pursuing this unmet need to provide effective therapeutics with fewer side effects to treat cancer patients. Together with Fox Chase Cancer Center, a co-founder of the company, we are dedicated to the discovery of novel therapeutics by modulating protein-protein interactions with small molecules to advance the treatment of cancer through approaches based on non-cytotoxic mechanisms.

What began in the research laboratories of Fox Chase Cancer Center as a proprietary yeast-based Interaction Trap, designed to detect the inhibition of certain protein-protein interactions, has resulted in the validation of compounds to inhibit the interaction of activated Ras and Raf oncoproteins. Oncoproteins are the products of cancer-causing genes, or oncogenes, which can lead to cancer if mutations cause them to function abnormally. Ras and Raf proteins normally act as molecular switches involved in the cell signaling process. If they are turned on to stimulate cell reproduction at the wrong time, these proteins are known to initiate signaling cascades that contribute to a significant percentage of human tumors.

The discovery of Ras and Raf inhibitors, along with other scientific discoveries made at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has resulted in drug discovery technologies that are currently being utilized by NexusPharma. These technologies have become the cornerstone for the company to create a pipeline of novel drug candidates for the treatment of cancer. NexusPharma’s portfolio of small-molecule candidates target selected cancer-promoting protein-protein interactions and inhibit critical cancer signaling networks.

NexusPharma has developed and protected a unique patent portfolio of projects and molecules, which includes Ras-Raf interaction inhibitors, interaction inhibitors for the proteins governed by the MDM2 and P53 genes, and inhibitors for the Factor VIIa-PAR receptor. These projects have discovered small-molecule inhibitors that show efficacy in in vitro cell-based screens and/or in animal models. Currently, NexusPharma has access to six patent families in different stages of the patent application process.

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