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Biotechs Share Endocrine Enthusiasm

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Start-ups developing new drugs for rare cancers and other disorders characterized by excessive hormone production know successful treatments are likely to eventually find larger markets. Profiles of Atterocor, Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, and OctreoPharm Sciences.

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Crinetics Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The founders of Crinetics Pharmaceuticals Inc. aim to treat endocrine-related diseases and cancers with novel molecules that target peptide hormone receptors. It has been working intensively to apply the concept of biased agonism to the large and popular class of drug targets known as G-protein coupled receptors; it will initially seek to develop a treatment for acromegaly.

OctreoPharm Sciences GMBH

The founders of OctreoPharm Sciences GMBH aim to commercialize new kinds of radiolabeled pharmaceuticals to treat all kinds of neuroendocrine tumors, plus matching diagnostics to improve physicians’ ability to detect and monitor these rare cancers. Beyond exclusive rights to relevant intellectual property, the founders’ backgrounds suggest they possess skills appropriate to the task

Atterocor Inc.

Atterocor Inc. aims to destroy, or at least interfere with, pathological processes in cortical cells of the adrenal glands. The start-up has secured orphan designation and initiated Phase I trials on a compound it calls ATR-101, a novel ACAT1 inhibitor that induces apoptosis, in people with adrenocortical carcinoma, or adrenal cancer, a truly rare and fatal disease.

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