New York, NY and Beverly, MA [October 22, 2008] ~ The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and SmartCells, Inc. today announced a partnership to advance SmartCells' SmartInsulin for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. SmartInsulin will be a once-a-day, glucose-regulated insulin that is administered by injection just under the skin. But unlike currently available insulins, SmartInsulin is designed to maintain continuous, tight control of blood glucose levels while reducing the risk of hypoglycemia like the pancreas does automatically in the absence of diabetes. As part of the agreement, JDRF will provide $1 million in first-year funding to support preclinical safety and efficacy testing. The partnership is structured to support milestone-based funding through proof-of-concept human clinical trials.
"JDRF's support will accelerate the commercial development of our SmartInsulin therapy for type 1 diabetes. Our formulation is designed to address the most critical issue in diabetes treatment achieving tight glucose control without inducing severe hypoglycemic episodes. To accomplish this, patients will only have to inject SmartInsulin once a day using the same needles currently used for conventional insulin. We expect these important treatment benefits will improve patient safety and quality of life while reducing diabetic complications," said Todd C. Zion, Ph.D., President and CEO of SmartCells. "We are very pleased to have JDRF's support for this program, and share their commitment to the development of breakthrough treatments for type 1 diabetes."
Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., Director of JDRF's Metabolic Control Program, explained that JDRF is committed to supporting the development of unique therapies that can improve metabolic control for people with type 1 diabetes: "We believe that glucose-regulated insulin may represent a practical solution to the real needs of people with diabetes, and this collaboration illustrates our dedication to accelerating the pace of science leading to cures and treatments for people with type 1 diabetes by helping innovative companies test concepts and bring their products to patients faster."
Under the terms of the partnership, the $1 million grant will support testing the safety and efficacy of SmartInsulin in preclinical type 1 diabetes trials. The partnership is intended to accelerate the product's development and reduce the time needed to progress to human testing. The grant is part of JDRF's innovative Industry Discovery and Development Partnership Program, which supports companies developing drugs, treatments, and technologies to address type 1 diabetes and its complications.
|Contact: Leslie Schwartz|
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International