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GEN News Highlights : Mar 1, 2012

Islet Sciences to Pick Up DiaKine Therapeutics

DTI adds preclinical and early-stage antidiabetics.

Islet Sciences, a company engaged in transplantation therapy for patients with diabetes, entered into a share exchange agreement to acquire DiaKine Therapeutics (DTI). DTI has a parenteral drug in early clinical development and a preclinical pipeline of oral therapies.

“DiaKine's drugs have the potential to reshape the diabetes market by stopping the progression of diabetes and reversing damage already caused by the disease,” according to John Steel, chairman and CEO of Islet Sciences.

“Because of their unique immune modulating and anti-inflammatory properties, these therapies may potentially benefit people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, which we believe has a total addressable market of approximately $13 billion.” Islet Sciences’ transplantation technology includes methods for the culturing, isolation, maturation, and immunoprotection of islet cells.

DTI's most clinically advanced drug, Lisofylline (LSF), works at the cellular level by improving the function of insulin-producing islet cells and protecting them from damage and premature death caused when the body's immune system turns on itself, the company explains. This autoimmune action is the cause of type 1 diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA).

LSF as an IV treatment is in a Phase II trial as an adjunct therapy to islet cell transplants. It is also being studied in a separate Phase I study involving newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes patients as a subcutaneous formulation.

DiaKine also has a slew of next-generation of orally bioavailable immune modulators. DiaKine reports that several lead compounds have been identified for further development. For example, DT 22669 is being evaluated as a therapy for LADA and insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes, and DT 23552 has been identified for its potential against diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy.