Significant progress made in diabetes therapeutic programme

16 March 2010

Type II diabetes is fast becoming an epidemic in many societies, with 170 million cases diagnosed to date worldwide. It is characterised early on by the inability of afflicted individuals to respond to circulating insulin in controlling blood glucose levels. Traditional therapies have not effectively addressed the root causes of insulin resistance or lowered secretion in most patients.

More recent investigations have identified a key hormone produced in the gut, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) 7-37, which naturally stimulates pancreatic insulin secretion and helps restore the body’s response to it. This makes GLP-1 a very attractive candidate for anti-diabetes therapy, with a projected worldwide market of several billion $US /year.

Although a number of pharmaceutical companies have active GLP-1 programs, a major drawback to development of GLP-1-based therapeutics is its short circulating half-life of a few minutes, due to proteolysis and renal clearance. Thus, effective therapies must incorporate GLP-1 analogues stabilized against proteolysis while being formulated to counter renal clearance and thus avoid daily injections.

Activotec has applied its proprietary technologies in peptide backbone modification toward development of a set of modified GLP-1 analogues which have been stabilised against proteolysis, yet are at least as active as native GLP-1 in both promoting insulin release in cell assays and lowering blood glucose in small animal models. A poster of these studies will be displayed at the 29th European Peptide Symposium in Gdansk, Poland, 3-8 September.

These exciting results have led Activotec to investigate partnerships with biotechnology companies with an interest in this area with a view to forming collaborative partnerships to develop the products further.

For further information please contact Activotec on or telephone on +44 1223 260008.