Bigger isn’t always better. Although excessive growth as in the case of giants has always been perceived as an evolutionary advantage, a considerable wealth of scientific evidence points to the fact that it is accompanied with a higher incidence of cancer, diabetes and chronic inflammatory diseases. On the contrary, people with truncated growth, such as in Laron syndrome (a specific type of dwarfism), although having a short stature, have been found to be resistant to cancer, diabetes and aging.
THE PROBLEM – The underlying biological mechanism in both these cases is the interaction between the human growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and the GH receptor (GHR). GH modulates cellular metabolism leading to cell growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration. GH also stimulates the production and secretion of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in many tissues. GH and IGF-1 both promote cell proliferation and suppress apoptosis.
As such, the current scientific consensus is that the GH/IGF-1 axis promotes early stages of cancer, growth of cancer stem cells, epithelial to mesenchymal transition and metastasis. GH is overexpressed in colon, prostate, breast, lung, and melanoma cells where it binds the GHR to signal explosive cellular growth in a paracrine/autocrine fashion. Numerous animals studies also indicate the involvement of GH/IGF-1 in tumour growth, making this axis an ideal target for the development of cancer therapeutic options.
OUR SOLUTION – BIMINI’s breakthrough discovery has the potential to, for the first time, effectively leverage the GH/IGF-1 axis for the development of novel cancer therapeutics.
Our approach elegantly mimics nature, such as seen in Laron
syndrome, by rendering the cell to become less sensitive to growth hormone. Our approach relies on a novel mechanism, thereby rendering the GH/IGF-1 axis dysfunctional in an autocrine manner.
At BIMINI, we aim to develop a drug discovery platform around the GH/IGF-1 axis to become a leading innovator in GHR-based therapeutics
EVIDENCE – We have identified four proprietary small molecules (BM001-004) of which BM001 is our lead compound that is currently in the pre-clinical phase. Our lead compound has been demonstrated both in in vitro as well as in vivo, showing promising anti-cancer effects for triple-negative breast cancer, as well as other GHR-dependent cancer types.
Moreover, the GH/IGF-1 axis has been implicated in a variety of other indications including metabolic disorders and ageing, opening up opportunities that are associated with strong socio-economic unmet needs.
Interested to find out more about our technology? Please contact us.