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Case Western Reserve University grants Thermalin Diabetes exclusive license

CLEVELAND Case Western Reserve University has granted an exclusive license on a portfolio of insulin analogs to Thermalin Diabetes, LLC, which has assembled more than $3 million to support the development of these important new drugs.

Cleveland-based Thermalin Diabetes is developing treatments that are expected to become an important part of the $12 billion, rapidly growing insulin market. Insulin is a therapeutic protein used to manage blood glucose (sugar) levels. Innovations in the 1990s led to the introduction of insulin analogs with superior therapeutic performance.

Thermalin Diabetes, which previously held an option on the insulin analogs, has now closed more than $2.2 million from private venture capital financing and individual angel investors, including $250,000 from Cleveland-based JumpStart Ventures. In addition, Thermalin has been awarded more than $1.1 million in Phase I SBIR/STTR grants by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). All of these funds are being used to help move innovative new insulin treatments toward the clinic.

Potential for improved treatment of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus results from the work of Dr. Michael Weiss, chairman of the Biochemistry Department at Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine. His approximately 20 years of research into the structure and function of biological molecules has focused on insulin, insulin analogs and insulin receptors.

New and improved insulin analogs will offer attractive alternatives for patients and may also revolutionize the use of insulin pumps. Insulin analogs are faster acting with fewer side effects, have stability without refrigeration, or are long acting with lower potential risk of cancer.

Weiss's scientific work with insulin has been aided students and fellows. Colleagues are Qing-xin Hua, Zhu-li Wan, Nelson Phillips, and Jonathan Whitaker, and long-term collaborators are Panno Katsoyannis, Bruce Frank, Steve Kent and Don Steinner.

The development of this technology was funded in part by the Wallace H. Coulter-Case Western Reserve University Translational Research Partnership.


Contact: Marv Kropko
Case Western Reserve University

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