Avalon Pharmaceuticals reported the start of a drug discovery program for the survivin pathway, an intractable cancer pathway. Survivin is overexpressed in multiple tumor types, including breast, lung, prostate, pancreatic, and colon. Additionally, survivin is cancer selective as it is undetectable in most normal adult cells.
"The survivin pathway is recognized as a critical but elusive pathway for cancer therapeutics, because of its lack of enzymatic function," states David Bol, vp of pharmaceutical development at Avalon. "The survivin pathway intersects cellular networks critical for cancer cell function, including cell death, cell growth, and drug and radiation resistance."