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GEN News Highlights : Apr 10, 2012

DiaKine Awarded $2.1M in Grants from NIH, Iacocca Foundation for Diabetes Therapy

Firm’s lead candidate is designed to protect islet cells from autoimmune damage.

Islet Sciences’ recently acquired diabetes therapeutics subsidiary, DiaKine Therapeutics, received two separate grants totalling $2.1 million, from the NIH and Iacocca Foundation. $1,831,250 has been awarded by NIH, and another $250,000 from the Iacocca Foundation, an organization focused on funding diabetes research and drug development. 

In January the firm acquired development-stage DiaKine is a start-up biotech developing immune modulators as treatments for diabetes and related complications. Lead candidate, Lisofylline, is a clinical development-stage compound designed to improve the function of insulin-producing islet cells and protect them from damage and premature death resulting from autoimmune attack in type 1 diabetes.

Islet itself is focused on the development of cell transplantation therapy for treating type 1 diabetes. The firm’s initial product, Islet Sciences-P™, is a suspension of microencapsulated porcine islets designed for injection into the abdominal cavity.