To provide novel therapies and diagnostics utilizing our Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) platform technology to combat metastatic cancers and fibrosis, based on our efficient inhibitors and detectors of the FAK pathway.
FAK is one of the most ubiquitous cancer proteins found to date, with expression in 60-80% of human tumors. FAK promotes tumor survival as well as their escape from natural immunity.
Detecting FAK overexpression can identify early-stage cancers with a higher likelihood to spread and become metastatic, such as colorectal cancer. Inhibiting FAK in cancer cells can lead to apoptosis and tumor cell death.
FAK is one of the factors in fibrosis and regulates collagen excretion from cells into the extra-cellular matrix.
Cancer may lead to fibrosis, and fibrosis may lead to cancer. Inhibiting FAK in tissues with fibrosis may reduce cancer risk in those tissues (e.g. liver, lung)
Inhibiting FAK in skin wounds reduces scar tissue during and after the healing process.
Multiple companies have developed FAK inhibitors that target the kinase domain of FAK, but most have failed in clinical trials due to innate resistance mechanisms.
FAKnostics' inhibitor targets the non-kinase domain, which plays important roles in cancer progression and metastasis.
Our FAKnosTest® companion diagnostic is based on our proprietary FAK antibody thoroughly tested on thousands of biopsies.
We are a University of Arizona spin-off company with a presence in the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.
Our team has more than 30 years of FAK research leadership and therapeutic development, with core competencies in pharmacology and drug discovery, especially structure-based drug design and computational drug discovery. Over the last 4 years, we have developed a focus on structure-based drug design to complement and extend our cancer biology capabilities. In the future, we plan to continue the development of FAK-related drugs to provide new therapies for cancers and other diseases that lack effective treatment options.
Extensive and Deep Focal Adhesion Kinase Expertise in Diagnostics and Therapeutics
Continuous studies of FAK as a cancer target from 1991 to present
First to identify FAK in human tumors and report its overexpression
Developed immunohistochemical diagnostic for human tissue samples
First to show that attenuation of FAK causes apoptosis
First to demonstrate importance of targeting FAK in cancer
Leaders in understanding the importance of FAK non-catalytic functions
First to report major resistance mechanisms in FAK kinase inhibitors
Demonstrated successful proof of principle for targeting non-catalytic FAK functions
Focus on peptide and small molecule therapeutic approaches
Companion diagnostic based on effective proprietary FAK antibody
Pipeline in cancer, wound and stress-induced fibrosis