Leveraging a computational platform designed to exploit the full potential of a widely studied pharma target has proved successful in attracting venture investors in the last few years to Structure Therapeutics Inc. The company now is giving the public markets a go, aiming to raise up to $100 million in what marks the first biopharma U.S. IPO filing for 2023.
Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. has had a lot of success with testing its oral insulin, until now. The company will discontinue it oral insulin clinical work in treating type 2 diabetes after ORMD-0801 failed to hit its phase III study’s primary and secondary endpoints. The late-stage stumble clobbered the company stock (NASDAQ:ORMP), which lost 76% of its value on Dec. 12 to close at $2.54 each.
Metabolic health is at an odd juncture. With the advent of glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) agonists, pharmacologically induced weight loss has matured into a viable therapeutic option at long last. And research into the drug class is continuing apace.
Provention Bio Inc. scored approval from the U.S. FDA of the BLA for Tzield (teplizumab-mzwv), an intravenously given, anti-CD3-directed antibody, as the first and only immunomodulatory treatment to delay the onset of stage 3 type 1 diabetes (T1D) in adult and pediatric patients ages 8 and older with stage 2 T1D.
Hua Medicine Ltd. has received marketing approval from China's NMPA for its glucokinase activator (GKA), Huatangning (dorzagliatin tablets), for two indications: as a monotherapy to improve blood glucose control for drug-naïve type 2 diabetes patients and in combination with metformin in metformin-tolerated type 2 diabetes patients to control blood glucose level. It marks the first GKA drug to gain approval in any market, according to Hua.
Jilin Huisheng Biopharmaceutical Co. Ltd., a non-wholly owned subsidiary of Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group Ltd., has raised ¥500 million (US$70 million) in a series A round. Huisheng, which has developed a pipeline of programs addressing both diabetes and its complications, plans to use the new funds to speed up its clinical trials and purchase manufacturing equipment, according to Che Fengsheng, executive director and chairman of Sihuan Pharma.
Investigators at Washington State University (WSU) have identified a set of eight proteins that were expressed in the serum of Ursus arctos horribilis, better known as the grizzly bear, specifically during their hibernation period. In addition to reporting new basic insights into hibernation, the study, which was published in the Sept. 21, 2022, issue of iScience, could also give clues to insulin resistance and its relationship to body fat.
Akston Biosciences Corp. emerged from a successful small company that was sold to a pharma major. For Todd Zion, that’s a back-to-basics move that suits him just fine. Zion co-founded Smartcells Inc. in 2003 with technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company went on to develop the once-daily injectable self-regulating insulin product, Smartinsulin, and sold it to Merck & Co. in what was at the time one of the largest preclinical pharmaceutical acquisitions ever.
A phase II trial this week showed that combining the diabetes drug semaglutide (Novo Nordisk A/S) with a fixed-dose combination of Cagrisema (cagrilintide/semaglutide) led to “numerically higher” reductions in both HbA1c and body weight than either component alone. And on the preclinical side, researchers from the Novo Nordisk Research Center and the Helmholtz Diabetes Center reported that linking the dual PPAR activator tesaglitazar to GLP-1 improved glucose control in male mice. Both bits of news illustrate that GLP-1R agonists, which are also called incretin mimetics and GLP-1 analogs, are likely to continue their success across multiple areas of medical care.