Healthcare Industry News: metabolic disease
News Release - April 16, 2007
Diobex Raises $24 Million Series B Financing Led by Inventages Venture CapitalSAN FRANCISCO, April 16 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- DiObex, Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of therapeutics to treat metabolic diseases, today announced the close of a $24 million Series B financing led by Inventages Venture Capital (Switzerland). Also joining the round are new investors Mitsui Ventures (Japan) and Pac-Link BioVentures (Taiwan), together with Series A investors Domain Associates, Pequot Ventures and Sofinnova Ventures. The funds raised will be dedicated to the progression of DiObex's two lead drug candidates through the completion of phase 2 clinical trials.
"This financing is an important milestone, and will allow us to progress our 2 lead clinical programs through the completion of Phase 2b studies. We welcome our new investors into the company and look forward to continued progress in developing novel therapies for this underserved population of patients," commented Daniel Green, DiObex President.
"We have been very impressed with the exceptional quality of the programs, the team as well as the investors at DiObex," said Gunnar Weikert, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of Inventages Venture Capital. "I have full confidence that the company's innovative products will become important treatments for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes."
Dr. Weikert joins the DiObex Board of Directors together with Walter Olesiak of Mitsui Ventures. Lester Lien, Ph.D. will have Board observer status. Barry Selick, Ph.D. will serve as Chairman of the Board.
DIO-901 (Reduction of hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetes)
Patients with type 1 diabetes can achieve ADA or WHO glycemic goals through intensification of their insulin regimens. However, because of the very real risk and fear of hypoglycemia which invariably results from insulin intensification, few patients with type 1 diabetes ever accomplish the desired level of glycemic control. Very Low Dose (VLD) Glucagon will facilitate intensification while mitigating the attendant risk of hypoglycemia. DiObex has completed three pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic dose ranging studies in 37 patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus which have demonstrated that VLD Glucagon can reduce or prevent insulin-induced hypoglycemia in these patients. In addition, all doses tested (using infusion pumps) were very well tolerated. Preclinical testing of novel extended release (ER) formulations for subcutaneous injection is well underway. Human studies using ER are scheduled to commence in late 2007.
DIO-902 (Cortisol Synthesis Inhibitor for type 2 diabetes)
Excessive cortisol activity may play an important role in the causation of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, a cluster of co-morbidities commonly associated with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. In the growing number of patients with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, co- morbidities such as hypertension and abnormal lipoprotein levels dramatically increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. DiObex has completed phase 2a clinical trials and will initiate a 16-week phase 2b dose-ranging study in patients with type 2 diabetes by mid-2007 (see press release of March 27, 2007).
DiObex, Inc. is a San Francisco-based biopharmaceutical company founded to develop novel products for the treatment of metabolic diseases. DiObex has two products preparing to enter Phase 2b clinical development. DIO-901 is a formulation of Very Low Dose Glucagon (VLD Glucagon) for reducing or preventing of insulin induced hypoglycemia. DIO-901 has received Fast Track status from the Food and Drug Administration. DIO-902 is a single enantiomer of ketoconazole and is a novel cortisol synthesis inhibitor. Abnormalities in cortisol activity may play an important role in the development of metabolic syndrome, a constellation of conditions that place people at high risk for type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. For more information, visit www.diobex.com.
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