Verva eyes improved diabetes treatment in Victoria
|23 April 2010|
|A Victorian company has taken a new approach to the development of treatments for diabetes, with Verva Pharmaceuticals discovering that a drug used since the 1970s to treat eye disease could hold the key to new diabetes therapies.|
|Verva found that the eye drug, containing compound VVP808, was able to successfully restore sensitivity to insulin in animal testing.|
Verva, based in Geelong in the state’s west, will collaborate with Deakin University and the Geelong Hospital to conduct a Phase 2a clinical trial of the compound VVP808 to moderate the symptoms of those diagnosed with adult onset, or type-2, diabetes.
The company hopes to uncover how the compound’s structure can be modified and used to build new insulin sensitisers with reduced side-effects.
Verva CEO Vince Wacher said: “Insulin sensitisers are important tools in diabetes therapy, but significant side effects with existing products mean there is a market demand for a new sensitiser with improved safety and a different mode-of-action.”
“Geelong is internationally known as a particularly good area in which to undertake clinical trials.
“It is the right size and diversity, and serves as a therapeutic hub for a regional population from which we can recruit trial participants.
“Geelong Hospital has good facilities, and the investigators and clinical team with whom we work have extensive laboratory and clinical experience with large international pharmaceutical companies,” he said.
Many experts say diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions worldwide, with the number of diagnosed diabetes patients in Australia expected to double in the next 20 years.