Maxygen is a biotechnology company focused on the potential further development of its MAXY-G34 product candidate, a next-generation pegylated, granulocyte colony stimulating factor, or G-CSF, for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia (CIN) and acute radiation syndrome (ARS).
Maxygen’s MAXY-G34 product candidate has been designed to be an improved next-generation G-CSF for the treatment of CIN. G-CSF is a natural protein that functions by stimulating the body’s bone marrow to produce more white blood cells.
Neutropenia is a severe decrease in neutrophil cell counts in the blood. Neutropenia is a common side effect of chemotherapeutic treatments for many forms of cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, lymphomas and leukemias. Neutropenic patients are at increased risk of contracting bacterial infections, some of which can be life threatening. Further, and most importantly, neutropenic patients may receive reduced or delayed chemotherapy treatment, which can result in cancer progression.
G-CSF products such as the MAXY-G34 product candidate may also have potential application in the treatment of ARS, an acute illness caused by irradiation of the entire body by a high dose of penetrating radiation in a very short period of time. A significant portion of the funding for the treatment of ARS to date has come from various government entities for the development of therapeutics as a medical countermeasure to nuclear terrorism and other radiological emergencies.