Teva nearing post-insulin diabetes therapy Andromeda Biotech's DiaPep277 met both the main and secondary endpoints of a Phase III clinical trial. 20 December 11 11:20, Globes' correspondent inShare2
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: TEVA)( is seeking to transform a compound into the first treatment to succeed insulin for Type 1 diabetes. The compound, DiaPep277, which modulates the immune system to prevent the destruction of insulin-secreting cells, was invented by Irun Cohen of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. DeveloGen sold DiaPep277 to Andromeda Biotech Ltd. in June 2007. In June 2009, Teva invested $170 million in the company to fund a clinical trial to confirm earlier results for DiaPep277, and licensed worldwide rights to the drug. Andromeda is a portfolio company of Clal Biotechnology Industries Ltd. (TASE: CBI), the life science investment arm of Nochi Dankner's IDB Holding Corp. Ltd. (TASE:IDBH). On November 22, Andromeda reported that DiaPep277 met both the main and secondary endpoints of the Phase III clinical trial needed for regulatory approval.
Both Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) reported poor clinical trial results for similar diabetes treatments.
“Type 1 diabetes has a huge unmet need, with no other treatment other than insulin,” Teva VP innovative ventures Aharon Schwartz said. “We believed the risk-benefit ratio was worthwhile. When we started, we thought, even if the results are positive, we would have competition,” Schwartz said. “Now we are the only game in town.”
Andromeda's Phase III trial for DiaPep277 included 457 patients in Europe, Israel and South Africa for the study. A second Phase III with 450 patients is currently under way.