Biovitrum Transfers Two Metabolic Disease Projects to iNovacia
Stockholm - Biovitrum AB (publ) (STO: BVT) and iNovacia AB today announced an agreement to transfer the preclinical GPR 119 and SCD-1 projects from Biovitrum to iNovacia.
The agreement includes a split of all future revenues from the projects 70:30 (iNovacia:Biovitrum). Biovitrum will also receive royalties from future product sales resulting from the projects. iNovacia will within the agreement be able to add additional partners to further develop the projects.
The GPR-119 project compounds have shown efficacy in disease models indicating that they may restore insulin production and release in type-2 diabetes patients and thereby blood glucose regulation.
Substances developed in the SCD-1 project can improve ’bad cholesterol’, as well as blood glucose, levels in disease models of diabetes.
“We are pleased that our SCD-1 and GPR 119 projects have got a new home with iNovacia, a company we have worked with when developing the existing candidate drugs. Furthermore, we know they have the necessary qualities to successfully take the projects further. The transfer of these promising projects to iNovacia allows us to further focus on bringing specialist indication biopharmaceuticals to patients with significant unmet medical needs,” said Peter Edman, CSO at Biovitrum.
“Through this deal, Biovitrum shows great confidence in iNovacia’s ability to develop pharmaceuticals. We look forward to drive the GPR 119 and SCD-1 projects towards the market in alliance with chosen partners. This step is part of iNovacia’s strategy to establish itself as an internationally competitive supplier of drug research”, said Thomas Olin, CEO of iNovacia.
About GPR 119
GPR 119 is a receptor expressed in the insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas in humans. It is activated by incretins, which are hormones produced in the gastric tract, released in connection to meals and stimulating insulin release. Receptors that mediate effects of incretins, e. g. the GLP-1 receptor, have therefore become some of the most important targets for development of novel pharmaceuticals for the treatment of type-2 diabetes.
Unlike the GLP-1 receptor, GPR 119 can be activated by small molecular compounds, which has led to a great medical and commercial interest in such compounds. Preclinical results from studies on beta cells from both humans and rodents support the notion that GRP 119 is important for the regulation of glucose dependent insulin release and beta cell function. A series of patent pending substances are very active in different diabetic disease model systems, in vitro as well as in vivo.
SCD-1 (stearoylcoenzyme-A-desaturase-1) is an enzyme that converts saturated fatty acids into monounsaturated fatty acids and that is critical for the formation of fat. The enzyme activity correlates well with plasma concentrations of fat and BMI (Body Mass Index) and is elevated at high intake of carbohydrates. These properties are considered relevant for the emergence of obesity and insulin insensitivity and hepatic accumulation of fat. SCD-1 is thus a promising target for obesity and type-2 diabetes intervention as well as for the treatment of certain liver diseases (hepatosteatosis).
The project acquired by iNovacia has by use of a patent pending inhibitor shown that a reduced SCD-1 activity in animal models of obesity is accompanied by diminished formation of monounsaturated fatty acids, reduced weight gain and reduced levels of LDL-cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and HbA1c (a marker for diabetes) and thus an improved metabolic status. Patent pending substances have shown desired effect on as well as marked improvement of blood glucose levels in disease models of diabetes.
Biovitrum is an international pharmaceutical company that markets specialist pharmaceuticals in several regions globally. Using its expertise and experience Biovitrum takes scientific innovation to patients with significant unmet medical need. Research expertise and capabilities are focused on development and production of biotechnology therapeutics within our prioritized areas of hemophilia, inflammation/autoimmune diseases, cancer supportive care and malabsorption. The company has revenues of approximately SEK 1.2 billion and around 400 employees. The company head office is located in Sweden and it is listed on the Stockholm OMX Nordic Exchange. For more information please visit www.biovitrum.com
iNovacia provides drug discovery services to translate targets into validated leads for pharmaceutical and biotech companies as well as for universities and non-profit organizations. Enabled by a chemical library of highest international standard, unique biophysical tools for characterization of mode-of-action and SAR, iNovacia can minimize the technical risk and optimize lead-time and quality of drug discovery projects. Beyond a long-standing experience in drug discovery and development, specific strengths include assay development, “high-throughput screening”, fragment-based screening, protein characterization, analytical chemistry, medicinal chemistry and in vitro ADME.
Furthermore, iNovacia develops software for electronic capturing and analysis of experimental data to efficiently capture Intellectual Property, enhance research output and make knowledge transfer effective. For more information see www.inovacia.se
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