Hypercortisolism (Cushing syndrome)

What is hypercortisolism?

Hypercortisolism, or Cushing syndrome, occurs when the body is exposed to high cortisol activity. It is caused by a tumor that either produces or results in the production of excessive cortisol by the adrenal glands. People with hypercortisolism frequently experience a wide range of health complications, including diabetes, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, and immune suppression. The disease is still not well understood and recent research indicates that many people may go undiagnosed and untreated. 

How does cortisol activity affect this disease?

Prolonged exposure to increased cortisol activity is the primary characteristic of hypercortisolism. Among individuals with endogenous hypercortisolism, duration of exposure to excess cortisol activity is significantly associated with increased mortality risk, underlining the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.

What role might cortisol modulation play?

Rather than inhibit cortisol production, our approach is to selectively modulate the effects of increased cortisol activity by competitively and reversibly binding to the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). 

Today, we are examining how modulating cortisol’s activity may improve treatment of hypercortisolism through continued studies of relacorilant, which is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials.