U.K. formulation specialist Arecor won a £1.05 million (approximately $1.3 million) grant from Innovate UK to support continued preclinical development of its proprietary stable liquid glucagon, through to IND-enabling studies. Arecor claims that a ready-to-inject liquid glucagon will simplify and de-risk the rescue treatment of severe hypoglycemia by reducing the delays and potential handling errors associated with using powdered glucagon, which requires reconstitution. The firm says its stable liquid glucagon could also form one of the currently missing components that will be required to develop a dual-hormone artificial pancreas.

“Using Arecor’s technology, we have been able to solve the very significant and elusive formulation challenge of developing a stable liquid glucagon product that will enable us to deliver a ready-to-use pen to ‘rescue’ a hypo more quickly and effectively,” commented Sarah Howell, Ph.D., Arecor CEO. “From our work with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and patient groups, we are confident that our development of a ready-to-inject liquid rescue glucagon solution has the potential to significantly improve and simplify the administration of this life saving treatment and reduce a major source of anxiety for those living with type 1 and 2 diabetes”.

Arecor is exploiting its proprietary Arestat™ formulation technology to improve the aqueous stability and potentially pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) profiles of protein and peptide drugs, including therapeutic antibodies, novel protein formats, and biosimilars. The firm's in-house R&D is focused on proprietary reformulated proteins and peptides for diabetes therapy, including an ultrarapid acting insulin and an ultraconcentrated, stable prandial insulin, which is being developed through a collaboration with the JDRF, initiated in July 2016.

Arecor is also working to develop insulin glargine formulations with improved stability or longer duration of action compared with Sanofi’s Lantus® and a more stable formulation of liraglutide (Novo Nordisk’s Victoza®), which Areco points out it will be free to commercialize when the Victoza patent expires in 5 years. Arecor received an Innovate UK SMART award to developing a ultra-long-acting basal insulin for helping to prevent nocturnal hypoglycemia. 

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