Zucara Therapeutics Inc., a pre-clinical life sciences company advancing a novel long-term therapeutic approach to prevent hypoglycemia in patients with diabetes, has signed a licensing agreement with The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) for access to a patented set of therapeutic drug compounds that will define its lead drug candidate.
CDRD and Zucara are working in partnership to develop unique compounds that will lead to a new safe and effective long-term therapeutic approach as the first once-daily therapeutic to prevent hypoglycemia in patients with diabetes. The compounds are pre-clinical first-in-class novel antagonists with the demonstrated potential to specifically block somatostatin type 2 receptors thereby preventing hypoglycemia and restoring a natural glucagon response. This method offers a clear advantage over current approaches which are more rescue in nature.
“This new license is an important step forward in bringing a new drug therapy closer to patients living with diabetes as it will enable us to access a promising lead drug candidate and position us to start clinical trials as early as 2018,” said Michael Midmer, Zucara’s CEO. “We believe this approach will dramatically change the treatment of hypoglycemia and improve long-term patient health.”
“We are very pleased that our innovative approach to develop new potential drug therapies is moving closer to clinical trials. Zucara, with our partner MaRS Innovation, has an opportunity to be part of the next evolution in diabetes therapies and accelerated advancement of a Canadian-based technology built on the discoveries of Banting and Best almost 100 years ago,” said Richard Liggins, CDRD Project Champion and Zucara’s Chief Scientific Officer.
Further validation of the lead drug candidate and in vivo studies are ongoing. Zucara will be seeking Series A funding in early 2017 to take the company through Phase I clinical trials which are expected to start in 2018.
CDRD’s technology development efforts were funded in part through the Genome BC-CDRD Development Fund.
About Zucara Therapeutics Inc.
Zucara Therapeutics, a spin-off of The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) and MaRS Innovation (MI), is developing the first drug therapy to prevent hypoglycemia in people with diabetes. The Company’s first-in-class therapeutic is focused on improving glucagon counterregulation by inhibiting somatostatin which is dysregulated in Type 1 diabetes. Preventing hypoglycemia will dramatically change diabetes disease management, improving both patient health and quality of life. www.zucara.ca
About The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD)
CDRD is Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre working in partnership with academia, industry, government and foundations. CDRD provides the specialized expertise and infrastructure to identify, validate and advance promising discoveries, and transform them into commercially viable investment opportunities for the private sector — and ultimately into new therapies for patients. Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program has recognized CDRD as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR). www.cdrd.ca