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Mar 19, 2007

Akesis In-Licenses Phase I Diabetes Therapy

  • Akesis Pharmaceuticals has obtained a vanadium compound that has shown potential as a treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes from the University of British Columbia. The exclusive license and commercialization agreement gives them control over bis(ethylmaltolato)oxovanadium (IV), or BEOV.

    Akesis says that this acquisition will complement its existing portfolio of vanadium and chromium combination diabetes product candidates. "The in-licensing of BEOV represents a substantial acceleration in our clinical development efforts, as it provides us with a compound that we believe possesses all of the attributes necessary to progress into Phase II clinical trials," says Akesis president and CEO, Jay Lichter, Ph.D.

    The company reports that Vanadium enhances insulin downstream from the insulin receptor and modulates serum glucose. Akesis thus expects to enhance the reduction in serum glucose and reduce the associated toxicities. "While BEOV would likely be a viable stand-alone product for diabetes care,” adds Dr. Lichter, “we believe that a combination of BEOV with existing diabetes treatments, as covered by the existing Akesis intellectual property, may ultimately result in the best and most effective product for patients with diabetes."

    The company expects to begin Phase II evaluation of the compound after submission of an updated IND to the FDA.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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