Slowing Cell Death – Saving Lives

Posted by on Aug 28, 2012 in Blog | 1 comment

Normal Cell Death or ‘Apoptosis’

Apoptosis is a form of cell death that is fundamental to both normal function and malfunction of organs in the body. It is a form of cell death in which single cells die in the midst of living tissue and normally, the above helps in the normal process of cell turnover.Apoptosis appears to be genetically regulated  however, apoptosis can be induced by exposing cells to radiation, heat, cytotoxic agents, and abnormal changes in cellular biology. Too little cell death can result in proliferative disorders, such as neoplastic disorders or autoimmune disease when a particular immune cell lives beyond its appropriate lifespan.

A variety of factors, such as genetics, nutritional status, drug therapy and metabolism, diseases and environment, may increase the free radical concentration and oxidative stress. A change in any one of these factors could result in increased susceptibility to cell death. Cellular damage has been implicated in the development of many degenerative disorders, such as, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, arthritis, cancer, pancreatitis, hepatoxicity, cataracts, macular degeneration, accelerated aging, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Apototic cell death is a major concern for tissue in the central nervous system and heart when organ damage or malfunction results in an excessive number of cells dying as their respective vital cells cannot regenerate.

Apoptosis Inhibitors

The overall rationale for the development of apoptosis inhibitors is the need to develop an effective strategy to deal with the underlying pathophysiological processes in life-threatening clinical events. Such potentially catastrophic events accelerate both the rate and/or extent of the apoptotic process and, in turn, the ramped-up apoptosis accelerates the downward spiral that leads to clinically significant organ complications or even death.

CVM Therapeutics is therefore developing its anti-apoptotic technology platform in several key therapeutic indications; the goal being to eventually improve present best clinical practices and treatment strategies by integrating anti-apoptotic therapy as a critical component of successful treatment of stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, AMI and diabetes patients.

Other Potential Indications

Apoptosis inhibition could, in principle, produce significant clinical benefits. However, further research will be required to confirm this but the following provides a brief insight into further research areas.

a) Diseases Associated with Aging

Aging is associated with the loss of critical cells in the body. Scientific evidence is accumulating to indicate that cell loss involves apoptosis (Pollack et al 2001). The loss of cardiac muscle cells underlies the increased incidence of heart failure in older age groups. Aging-related loss of neurons in the brain may be responsible for the reduction in intellectual capacity. Further research is required to elucidate the potential benefits in the aging process.

Anti-apoptosis therapy will therefore serve to fill a treatment gap and serve to complement present disease management strategies and thus improve the chances of a complete recovery of the patient by reducing disease progression and its related complications.

b) Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is a progressive, chronic endocrinological disease that involves a pathophysiological process which eventually results in sustained losses of pancreatic islet cells (Islets of Langerhan). By slowing the rate of loss of islet cells with antiapoptotic therapy, this may result in a significant delay and/or reduction of complications associated with diabetes (cardiovascular, neurological, opthamological, etc.).

The Company

CVM Therapeutics is an early-stage biotechnology company dedicated to developing new and novel molecules for use in the pharmacological treatment and prevention of strokes, spinal cord injuries and heart attacks (acute myocardial infarction or AMI). CVM Therapeutics has developed a major breakthrough technology platform resulting in a pipeline of compounds with a novel mechanism of action for the reduction of cell death in multiple therapeutic areas and indications. This new class of drug serves as the basis for the lead candidate compounds, CVM118, targeted for treatment of acute traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injuries and the treatment of AMI. The target is mainly one form of cell death – apoptosis which occurs after tissue injury.

CVM Therapeutics Inc. intends to become a leader in the development of pharmacological therapeutics for the acute treatment of conditions associated with cell death, specifically the treatment of stroke, brain tauma, acute spinal cord injury and heart attacks. The secondary and complementary objective is to expand the use of its pipeline for treatment of chronic conditions associated with cell death such as heart failure, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases that produce dementia.

CVM Therapeutics’ technology platform discussed in this plan focuses on a series of peptides that are capable of interrupting the process of cell death in a variety of different cell types. The ability of these peptides to reduce cell death has been demonstrated in preliminary animal studies.

Financial Plan

CVM Therapeutics is seeking venture capital financing to advance its drug development program. This will requires financial investment in its R&D manufacturing, Preclinical and a Phase I, first-time-in-man clinical study.

Contact Information

For further information, contact Marenon Consulting:

+1 647 687 7297

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One Comment

  1. The emerging biochemical definition, a cell death with caspase activation, allows the distinction of alternative forms of cell death. Whether a cell will undergo apoptosis or slow death depends not only on a chemotherapeutic agent but also on the readiness of cellular caspases.


  1. Delores Mendyk - Hmm... Effectively written write-up, Glad I am able to locate a website with some knowledge plus a fantastic writing…

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