LEXINGTON, Mass., Sept. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- G3 Pharmaceuticals, a newly formed biopharmaceutical company located in Lexington, MA, today announced the start of its research and development program to pursue novel galectin-3 inhibitors. Galectin-3 is a protein that is responsible for fibrosis forming in the heart and kidney, which impairs organ function, leading to heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and impaired kidney function.
G3 Pharmaceuticals was formed by Pieter Muntendam, MD, and a team of five scientific co-founders from the United States and Europe. The scientific co-founders are thought leaders in the fields of galectin-3 biology, cardiovascular pharmaceutical development, and carbohydrate drug synthesis and manufacturing.
"Our involvement with galectin-3 goes back more than a decade, during which we have seen galectin-3 mature from a scientific curiosity to a validated pharmaceutical target across several important medical conditions," said Pieter Muntendam, MD, President and CEO of G3 Pharmaceuticals. "Our program of lead optimization represents the final stage before entering the clinic for testing."
"The degree with which experimental galectin-3 inhibitors blocked fibrosis and disease progression across species and disease models has surprised researchers around the world," said Bertram Pitt, MD, Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Michigan School of Medicine and one of the co-founders of G3 Pharmaceuticals. "Galectin-3 research of the past decade also provided insights into how conditions, like heart failure, atrial fibrillation, deterioration of kidney function, and concurrent pulmonary disease, are related and manifestations of what appears to be a galectin-3 mediated systemic condition. If it lives up to our expectations, this can have a fundamental impact on some of the most important conditions of our time."
Galectin-3 is an unusual protein, which was first discovered in the 1970s. It is characterized by its ability to bind to special complex carbohydrates through a site on the protein known as the carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD). Galectin-3 is found in all species from the round worm to humans. Its role throughout evolution was to protect the animal after major injury through the formation of fibrotic sheets. In modern man, with access to medical care, massive injury is no longer left to natural healing but is typically treated surgically. However, smaller injuries such a heart attack, micro injuries caused by hypertension, or activation of the renin-angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS), can activate the galectin-3 fibrosis formation in the heart, kidneys, and lungs. In this way, a protective system that was vital during evolution has now become a cause of important disease. The CRD offers a path to inhibiting galectin-3 by certain complex carbohydrates. Natural and synthetic research compounds have been found to bind galectin-3 and in doing so neutralize its activity. G3 Pharmaceuticals is pursuing optimization of this class of carbohydrate inhibitors to render them suitable for use in novel oral pharmaceutical therapies.
About G3 Pharmaceuticals
G3 Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company located in Lexington, MA. The company was founded by thought leaders in the fields of galectin-3 biology, cardiovascular pharmaceutical development, and carbohydrate drug synthesis and manufacturing. The founders have played a material role in advancing the understanding of the role of galectin-3 in cardiovascular and renal disease, and in the exploration of pharmaceutical inhibition of galectin-3 by carbohydrate compounds. Publications related to this galectin-3 research by the founders have been cited over 2,000 times, illustrating the importance of these contributions to advancing the science that forms the foundation of G3 Pharmaceuticals. For further information visit www.g3pharmaceuticals.com.
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SOURCE G3 Pharmaceuticals