Cancer, a word that strikes a chord of fear in many, is a fighting word. At $47.7bn, cancer is one of the largest, fastest growing markets in the pharmaceutical industry, and while it is a match we have yet to win, researchers and scientists have on their boxing gloves and are staying in the fight.
Functional Nutriments is an early-stage private company based in Maui, Hawaii focused on the use of bioavailable apoptogens in cancer therapy. In 2010 Functional Nutriments successfully brought to market Apocaps CX, a patent-pending proprietary apoptogen formulation designed for dogs with various types of cancer. The company recently announced it was awarded a $244,479 Federal grant to research the application of its apoptosis-inducing formula for human cancers.
Apoptosis refers to the process of programmed cell death and is a key process in cancer development and progression. The ability of cancer cells to avoid apoptosis and continue to proliferate is one of the fundamental hallmarks of cancer and is a major target of cancer therapy development.
That is where Apocaps™ comes in. Functional Nutriments has developed Apocaps, an oral source of apoptogens for dogs. It helps induce apoptosis, a critically important function that can help ensure normal, healthy cells. Apocaps helps normalize proliferations of cells which are not experiencing the normal process of apoptosis. The active ingredients in Apocaps have been shown to induce apoptosis in cancer cells, in essence killing them. Apoptosis inducement has been demonstrated both in vitro (in test tubes), and in vivo (in real living animal bodies).
Cancer cells generally are able to change and adapt during their “immortal” lifespan, so Apocaps makes use of several molecular pathways to accomplish apoptosis.
• break down body muscle and fat for fuel
• promote high blood sugar levels for cancer cell consumption
• hijack the immune system to avoid detection by white blood cells
• send out chemical signals which produce inflammation, creating a cancer-friendly environment
The Apocaps ingredient profile has been shown to directly interfere with the cancer cell’s ability to accomplish these harmful effects. Apocaps minimize the detrimental physical effects caused by the cancer and promote apoptosis in cancer cells, thus tipping the scales to successful remission. In addition, Apocaps is designed to act on pathways common to many different cancer types.
The recently awarded grant is part of the U.S. government’s $1 Billion Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project, overseen by the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The QTDP program offers funding to small companies creating medical therapies with the potential to reduce health care costs, create jobs, improve U.S. competitiveness, or significantly advance the goal of curing cancer within the next 30 years.
“We are pleased for the recognition and to receive this grant to further our research and development in the use of apoptogens to combat cancer,” said James Jacobson, Functional Nutriment’s Chief Executive Officer. “We believe that this grant is further validation that our research may one day extend beyond dogs and help people who are fighting cancer.”
Chief Medical Officer and company co-founder Dr. Demian Dressler, DVM said, “Apoptosis is a such a fundamental biological process and the ability to induce it in cancer cells using natural apoptogens suggests enormous potential for human cancer patients.”