Islet Sciences negotiated an exclusive license to a diagnostic technology developed at Yale University that it says can identify beta cell death and help diagnose diabetes well before clinical symptoms present. The IP is based on the detection of circulating hypomethylated B cell-derived DNA, as a biomarker of B cell destruction.
Islet Sciences is focused on the development of transplantation therapies for diabetes based on its porcine islet cell and polymer microencapsulation technologies. The firm’s initial product, Islet Sciences-P™, is being developed as a ready-to-use vialed suspension of microencapsulated porcine islet cells for injection into the abdominal cavity.
In April Islet acquired DiaKine Therapeutics, which is developing a pipeline of treatments for diabetes. DiaKine’s most advanced product, Lisofylline, is in Phase II development as an intravenously administered adjunct therapy to islet cell transplantation. The drug is designed to improve the function of insulin-producing islet cells and protect them from damage and premature death associated with type 1 diabetes. A subcutaneous formulation of Lisofylline is in addition being evaluated in a Phase I study in newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes patients.
DiaKine’s preclinical pipeline includes a range of orally bioavailable immune modulators, including candidates for the treatment of latent autoimmune diabetes in adults and insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes, and diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy. Last month DiaKine received two separate grants from the NIH ($1.83 million) and Iacocca Foundation ($250,000).