VANCOUVER, CANADA: Sirona Biochem Corp. (TSX-V: SBM), an emerging biotech company focused on diabetes and obesity, says results of testing its unique SGLT inhibitor molecules demonstrate a key breakthrough milestone for Sirona Biochem.
Sirona Biochem CEO, Dr. Howard Verrico, said “There are two vital steps in the early stage of drug testing: validation of concept i.e. a molecule is able to hit the desired target and secondly its in vivo effectiveness. This first round of testing has shown a key breakthrough milestone in the process of validating this concept.“
“The test results now mean we can proceed to find out whether the molecules are selective, safe and robust enough to have potential to be effective when they reach the parts of the body where the re-uptake of glucose needs to be limited.”
Dr. Bertrand Plouvier, Chief Scientist, said “The results from the first round of screening are indeed very encouraging and Sirona Biochem will use the next following months to further study the molecules through specific assays to demonstrate their effectiveness and drug likeness.”
Dr. Verrico said management of sugar metabolism is a primary medical challenge associated with treating diabetes and obesity and that is why SGLT inhibitors show such promise in this regard. “At present SGLT2 inhibitors have demonstrated their ability to limit the re-uptake of glucose back into the blood stream from urine. However, they have been notoriously lacking in ability to resist being rapidly metabolized by the body, thus rendering them largely ineffective.
“What we have now done is show that our molecules, with their unique GlycoMim® technology, can inhibit the glucose transporter SGLT2. The next challenge, and an exciting one, is to show that our molecules are selective, safe and have the potential to have an increased efficacy compared to the current molecules undergoing clinical development.”
Sirona Biochem owns the worldwide product rights to a library of unique sodium glucose transporter (SGLT) inhibitors to treat diabetes and obesity. SGLT inhibitors, as previously stated, block the reuptake of excess sugars from urine, which can then reduce high blood sugar towards normal levels.
Sirona Biochem has entered into a strategic partnership with TFChem, a drug discovery company based in Rouen, France. TFChem licenses its technology of fluorinated carbohydrate mimics: GlycoMim®, and products in development to biotech companies. This strategic partnership was completed by a detailed research and licence agreement signed on September 29, 2008.
23.6 million people, or 7.8% of the population of the United States, have diabetes. (February 2009 DACG.ORG)
In 2007, the prevention and treatment of diabetes and its complications was estimated to cost US$ 232 billion according to the International Diabetes Federation. By 2025, this is likely to increase to more than US$ 302.5 billion.
The diabetes drug market reached US$18 billion in 2005, and is expected to increase to $21-25 billion in 2011. With many new products yet to realise their full potential and the high incidence of T2DM expected in emerging markets, prospects for the sector look strong. Some of the fastest growing markets for diabetes are in emerging economies. India, China and Indonesia are in the top 5 for disease prevalence. The impact for both branded and generic drugs is considerable.
Furthermore, in recent years, obesity has become a major health problem for many post-industrial societies, so much so that in 2004, the United States Health and Human Services declared obesity to be a disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that globally in 2005, 1.6 billion adults were overweight with at least 400 million adults obese. By 2015, approximately 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and 700 million will be obese. Obesity poses a major health risk because it greatly increases the risk of co-morbidities such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and cancer. Recognizing the potential for a new blockbuster market, major pharmaceutical companies have increasingly focused on obesity and its causes and, in the process, seeking to identify many potential targets and pathways that could be exploited to create novel therapies.
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About Sirona Biochem
Sirona Biochem Corp. (TSX: V – SBM) is an emerging biotech company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel drug compounds. The current focus is on treatments for Type II diabetes and obesity. Sirona has entered into a license agreement with TFChem S.A.R.L., a drug discovery company based in Rouen, France. TFChem licenses its technology of fluorinated carbohydrate mimics: GlycoMim®, and products in development to biotech companies. The license agreement with TFChem provides for research and development of new compounds known as SGLT Inhibitors. SGLT inhibitors are a new and exciting class of compounds that have great promise and potential to treat both diabetes and obesity.
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