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Arecor awarded £2.8m to progress insulin product that could enable artificial pancreas system for type I diabetes patients

Arecor has been awarded a £2.8million grant from Innovate UK to progress its insulin product, which could enable a life-changing artificial pancreas system for type I diabetes patients.

The Chesterford Research Park biopharmaceutical company said the money will accelerate phase II development of the ultra-rapid acting insulin product AT247.

Sarah Howell. (43063557)
Sarah Howell. (43063557)

Arecor’s chief executive officer, Sarah Howell, who is nominated for CEO of the Year at the Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards on April 15, said: "We are proud that Innovate UK has, through their thorough technical and commercial review process, chosen to invest in our research from across the very best of British science.

“Diabetes remains a significant and growing health problem throughout the world.

“AT247, the lead product from our pipeline of next generation rapid insulins is focused on transforming the lives of people living with type 1 diabetes through its potential to enable greater glucose control.

“This control is critical in helping patients to avoid hyper- and hypo-glycaemia events, improve time in range and reduce overall disease complications.

“The substantial grant we are announcing today provides additional non-dilutive funding to support and accelerate AT247’s phase II development.”

Although there have been significant advances in treatment options for those with type I diabetes, 79 per cent of those with the condition live with severe complications because of the amount of time spent outside of their target blood glucose range.

Control of this can be improved via an automated insulin delivery system, in which blood glucose is continuously measured. In such a system, an algorithm calculates the insulin requirements based on real-time blood glucose and delivers it automatically via a pump.

Arecor says AT247 has the potential to be an ideal pump insulin, enabling the creation of a closed loop artificial pancreas for patients with type I diabetes.

Winners of the Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards will be revealed on April 15, 2021.
Winners of the Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards will be revealed on April 15, 2021.

It is a novel proprietary formulation of insulin designed to accelerate insulin absorption, post injection, to achieve more effective and controlled management of blood glucose levels.

With the aid of the grant, its development will include a phase II clinical trial to compare the glycaemic control, safety and tolerability of AT247 with Fiasp when administered by insulin pump over an extended period.

The trial will assess the time spent with blood glucose level in a healthy range through continuous monitoring.

This trial is expected to start in the first half of 2022, as part of what Arecor called an “extensive development programme designed to demonstrate the benefits of AT247 as a potentially best-in-class ultra-rapid acting insulin”.

Dr Thomas Pieber, PI for the phase II study at the Medical University of Graz, said: “AT247 is a very promising candidate in the pursuit for next generation insulins designed to improve postprandial glycaemic control and flexibility of insulin dosing.

“The phase II development programme will build on the early clinical evidence that AT247 has highly favourable pharmacokinetic properties and may facilitate a fully closed loop artificial pancreas, a potentially life-changing treatment option for people living with diabetes.”

The product candidate is based on Arecor’s proprietary Arestat technology platform, which relies on novel insights into interactions between formulation excipients and proteins, allowing control of protein behaviour under stress conditions, in vitro and in vivo.

CEO of the Year

CEO of the Year at the Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards is sponsored by Tilney. The nominees are:

  • Anthony Cooke, Cambridge Clinical Laboratories
  • Sarah Howell, Arecor
  • John Hoyle, Sook
  • Mark Kotter, bit.bio
  • Jessica Ocampos, Camnexus
  • Sunil Shah, o2h Group

Read more

Finalists in the 2020 Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards revealed

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