Stem cells can divide and multiply to produce further stem cells and/or differentiate into specialized cells that form the various tissues and organs in our bodies. In contrast to embryonic stem cells, which differentiate into all the specialized cells in a developing embryo, adult stem cells repair and replenish the various tissues in adult organisms. Thus, adult stem cells play a primary role in the maintenance of tissue health throughout our lives.
One of the primary signaling pathways that regulate the self-renewal and differentiation of adult stem cells is the Wnt pathway, a term which refers to a group of signal transduction pathways that play a crucial role in tissue health, ranging from formation to replenishment and from repair to regeneration of various tissues.
Conversely, the dysregulation of the Wnt pathway in a particular tissue almost always leads to a disease of that tissue. The ability to modulate the Wnt pathway, and thereby recover and restore the health of diseased tissues, presents significant opportunities in regenerative therapeutics.
Wnt pathway has been extensively studied over the last three decades, and also has been implicated in many diseases, primarily in oncology and various degenerative conditions. The focus of Samumed's technology platform is on the ability to modulate the Wnt pathway in select tissues with small molecules; our platform is not a "stem cell therapy." To date, we have discovered numerous new biological processes related to the Wnt pathway, identified novel biological targets, and developed small-molecule drugs that modulate Wnt activity. Our top priority at Samumed is to translate this unique biological know-how into medical solutions for patients in need.