MAIA Biotechnology


MAIA has developed a new molecular platform of telomere-targeting agents, and the lead THIO is the only direct telomere targeting agent currently in clinical development. Telomeres are essentially caps that protect the chromosomes of cells in the cell division cycle.  They are built and maintained by the enzyme telomerase. Telomerase is present in all normal cells in the first year of life. From that point on, with each cell division cycle, they lose a little, until in the old age they become critically short, can no longer protect the chromosomes, and mutations begin to appear, that result in diseases related to ageing, including cancer.  But in cancer cells, telomerase is turned back on again. The cancer cells regain their ability to build and extend their telomeres and reach a state of replicative immortality: they continue to divide indefinitely, and the cancer continues to grow. This is where THIO comes in: it is picked up by telomerase, incorporated into the telomeric structure, creates a faulty structure, the telomeres collapse, and the cancer cell dies.  This process is fast and efficient: it takes 24-72 hours, and THIO kills directly 70-90% of the cancer cells.


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