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Commentary Explores the Links Between Exoneural Biology and Cancer

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Cygnal Therapeutics today announced the publication of a new article inCell, titled "Roadmap for the Emerging Field of Cancer Neuroscience." Jonathan Hurov, Ph.D., who serves as Cygnal's vice president of discovery biology and platforms, and multiple members of Cygnal's Scientific Advisory Board are co-authors on the paper, among other scientists. The Cygnal SAB co-authors are: Michelle Monje, M.D., Ph.D. (Stanford University), Paul S. Frenette, M.D. (Albert Einstein College of Medicine), Hubert Hondermarck, Ph.D. (University of Newcastle), Erica K. Sloan, Ph.D. (Monash University), David A. Tuveson, M.D., Ph.D. (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory), and Timothy C. Wang, M.D. (Columbia University Irving Medical Center). Dr. Monje is the article's lead author.

"We've seen an increasing amount of scientific research demonstrating the role of nerves in tumor growth and proliferation. Although the traditional view of peripheral nerves has relegated them to an auxiliary role, there is growing and powerful evidence that nerves are communicating with and influencing the progress of multiple cancers," said Pearl Huang, Ph.D., CEO of Cygnal Therapeutics. "These new insights into tumorigenesis explain why many cancer patients have tumors resistant to current treatments and give us a new therapeutic strategy for cancer. We're pleased to see more research in cancer-nerve communications, and we are proud of Jonathan and our SAB members for their participation in the publication of this piece."

The commentary in Cell resulted from a recent gathering at the Banbury Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which Cygnal sponsored. Organized by Sarah M. Knox, Ph.D. (University of California, San Francisco), Dr. Monje, and Dr. Wang, The Nervous System in Cancer meeting took place in December 2019. Attendees discussed the growing body of evidence surrounding neuronal influence on and communication with tumors. Published in April 2020 in Cell, the resulting commentary focuses on the budding area of cancer neuroscience and the connections between cancer and nerves.

"Exoneural biology—including cancer neuroscience—is a new way to understand the role of nerves in health and disease," said Dr. Hurov. "It was an honor to co-author this paper alongside scientific experts and leaders. This is an exciting area of science, and I expect to see many more discoveries in this space in the coming years."

The full article is available on Cell's website at:

About Cygnal Therapeutics
Founded by Flagship Pioneering in 2017, Cygnal Therapeutics is the first company to build a platform to develop drugs in the new field of exoneural biology, an unprecedented way of thinking about nerves and neural pathways outside of traditional neurobiology. Exoneural biology is broadly implicated in human health and disease. Fueled by its Exoneural Medicine Platform™, Cygnal is creating new medicines across multiple therapeutic areas, starting with cancer and inflammatory diseases. Learn more at