1 March 2019

Why do colony stimulating factors have unique biological roles offering therapeutic benefits?

Colony-stimulating factors (CSF:s) activate and cause the cells to proliferate and differentiate into a specific kind of blood cell, usually white blood cells. There are different types of CSF:s and they have unique biological roles, indicating therapeutic benefits for a number of disease treatments ranging from different cancer forms, viral infections, and autoimmune diseases and as a result, many clinical trials targeting colony-stimulating factors are now well on their way.

Colony-stimulating factors (CSF:s) are secreted glycoproteins that bind to receptor proteins on the surfaces of hematopoietic stem cells, thereby activating intracellular signaling pathways that can cause the cells to proliferate and differentiate into a specific kind of blood cell, usually white blood cells. They play a part in the hosts´ response to injury and infection, and although they were originally defined as hematopoietic cell growth factors, CSF:s have been shown to have additional unique biological functions, suggesting that they could be used to target specific conditions. 

There is a great interest in targeting CSF:s in inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, as well as in cancer. Most CSF compounds of today are pharmaceutical analogs of CSF:s, where Filgrastim, a recombinant form of G-CSF, is the most well known. These therapies can be expensive and require cumbersome administration. New CSF analogues are represented primarily by biosimilars where the originator drug has gone off patent.

Click to learn more about the CSF family, their mechanism of actions, role as pharmaceutical targets and how the novel iLite® growth factor targets enable the study and targeting of human growth factor proteins and their receptors. 

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