ITASCA, Ill. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- On June 3rd, at the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology meeting on Retinoids, Sephos Biotherapeutics presented novel findings in stem cell biology that can be used to induce differentiation of red blood cells.
Myelodysplastic syndrome is a fatal hematopoietic stem cell disorder that is characterized by the failure of bone marrow to produce blood cells. MDS is often termed pre-leukemia because of its propensity to develop in to acute leukemia. Nevertheless, this is not an indolent disease: Overall survival for high-risk MDS patients is 6-12 months from diagnosis.
“Each year 10,000 to 15,000 people are diagnosed with MDS in the United States. Despite advances in the efficacy of chemotherapy, radiation, targeted therapies and bone marrow transplantation, a cure for MDS has not been found,” said Dr. Dzana Dervovic, Scientific Officer at Sephos Biotherapeutics.
There is clearly a need for the development of novel therapeutics. Myelodysplastic syndrome is a disease that predominantly affects the elderly, because this population is often too frail to tolerate the toxicity of chemotherapy, many patients receive only supportive care.
“Of the three agents approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of MDS, none of them are satisfactory,” says Dr. Miles Thompson, Director of Clinical Research.
“The introduction of the drug Revlimid (Celgene), the first targeted therapy for myelodysplastic syndrome dramatically improved the treatment of this devastating disease,” said Dr. Elena Bogdanovic, Scientific Officer at Sephos Biotherapeutics. Sadly, however, Revlimid is only effective in 10-15% of MDS patients since it is only effective in patients with the mutation chromosome 5q deletion.
Sephos Biotherapuetics is committed to developing the next generation of targeted therapies for induction of differentiation of the acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome stem cell.
“Using the molecular biology approach we are developing a novel targeted therapy, which targets abnormalities in a set of common cellular pathways for the treatment of MDS. This molecularly targeted agent offers the promise for improved MDS control without substantial toxicity,” said Dr. Dervovic.
About Sephos Biotherapeutics:
Sephos Biotherapeutics is a privately owned company focused on designing drugs for the treatment of cancer stem cells where the structure and biological activity of the drugs have been carefully modeled from studies of basic cellular mechanisms.