LUND, Sweden—Follicum AB announced in January that it has successfully mapped the receptors in insulin-producing cells that bind the company’s peptides. This new knowledge, the company says, represents an important milestone in the continued development of its diabetes project and opens the possibility of the identified receptors becoming potential drug targets for stimulating insulin secretion and reduction of diabetic complications.
The research was conducted in collaboration with Swiss proteomics specialist Dualsystems Biotech and aimed to identify receptors in a well-characterized insulin-producing cell line that bind the company’s peptides. The purpose of the experiments also included analysis on how the structure of the peptides can be optimized for the selection of novel drug candidates.
The experiments reportedly confirmed the existence of such receptors, thus suggesting that they could become new drug targets for Follicum’s peptides in diabetes treatment. To verify the hypothesis, the company will initiate detailed studies of the receptors in preclinical trials within the framework of its established cooperation with Prof. Jan Nilsson’s group at the Clinical Research Center in Lund University.
“With the new results from our diabetes project involving our peptide classes, we now look forward to conducting further studies to expand our knowledge, thereby paving the way for a potential development of a whole new class of diabetes drugs. We have recently strengthened our organization and we are looking forward to continued collaboration with Lund University,” said Follicum CEO Jan Alenfall.
The preclinical research is partly funded by a recent grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Follicum is also a member of a major diabetes project, financed by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research. Follicum participates together with several leading companies within diabetes such as Novo Nordisk, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Pfizer and Region Skåne/University Hospital of Skåne in Malmö.