Oxidative stress is caused by the unchecked activities of free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS). These are highly reactive, unstable molecules that, in healthy cells, are created and neutralized as part of normal cell life. However, if the production of free radicals and ROS exceeds the body's natural defense mechanisms, oxidative damage to vital molecules in the body can occur, leading to cell death.
OXIS' goal has been to control both direct cellular damage from ROS and the activation of certain molecules called transcription factors, which are activated by ROS and trigger inflammatory responses and cell death in degenerative diseases. The company has conducted early stage development of molecules that target different disease indications