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By Biocat

Genmedica Therapeutics will be able to carry out phase I and II research on the drug GMC-252 to treat type-2 diabetes thanks to a €12-millions investment. To this end, they signed an agreement with Asclepios Bioresearch Ltd, which specializes in funding intermediate clinical trials. This round of funding follows that carried out in 2011 with Caixa Capital Risc, BCN Emprèn, Uninvest and VentureCap for €3 millions.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 350 million people around the world suffer from type-2 diabetes and that this number will double by 2030. In Spain, this disease affects 13.8% of the population. Type-2 diabetes is diagnosed in patients that develop insulin resistance. Most treatments currently available control high blood sugar and reduce the associated risks and symptoms, but can't prevent the progression of this chronic disease. The market for these drugs totaled €20,000 millions in global sales in 2009 and is estimated to reach €30,000 millions by 2016.

In recent years, it has been shown that oxidative stress and inflammation are key processes in the progression of a series of diseases, including type-2 diabetes. Genmedica has developed a new class of dual-action compounds that act against oxidative stress and inflammation (OSIF). GMC-252 is the lead compound in the OSIF class and has been shown to act as a powerful anti-diabetic in various animal models, reducing glucose and lipids. It also acts directly on the pancreas to preserve the insulin-producing beta cells.

Dr. Ramon Gomis, director of IDIBAPS: "If the trials yield positive results we may be seeing an innovative new drug that changes the progression of this disease"

Dr. Alec Mian, one of the founders and CEO of Genmedica, told Biocat that "this investment will allow us to move forward quickly in our clinical plans and begin to generate phase-I safety data in 2013 and preliminary efficacy data in early 2014." In fact, in early October the company received regulatory authorization from the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the United Kingdom, where they will carry out the trials as, according to Alec Mian, "It is much more affordable than in Spain."

This new drug will be developed and marketed through GMC 252, a newly created company. The strategy of this Catalan biopharmaceutical company is to create a new company for each program “with 100% Genmedica capital. It is a good model that many companies in our sector will be applying in the coming 5-10 years," explains Mian, who before Genmedica founded Gamera Biosciences Corporation in Boston (United States) in 1993.

Dr. Ramon Gomis, one of the most renowned diabetes specialists in Spain and director of the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS), says that "if the trials yield positive results we may be seeing an innovative new drug that changes the progression of this disease, and that would be a highly significant breakthrough."

Genmedica was created in 2004 and has its R&D department in the Barcelona Science Park (PCB) and offices in the city center. The preclinical trials will be conducted in India and the clinical trials in the United Kingdom.

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