Insulin resistance, the leading cause of Type 2 diabetes, is the target of a new drug under development in Israel. Developed at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical Center laboratory of professor Mordechai Chevion, the intellectual property was licensed to the inventors via a hospital tech transfer deal to a holding company, and then passed to a subsidiary called Concenter BioPharma. The experimental drug is called Zygosid-50.
Type 2 diabetes is headed toward epidemic levels in some parts of the world due to a confluence of forces from development and transformation in the diet to obesity to genetic factors. Professor Chevion reports that the most recent statistics reveal that some 463 million people worldwide face trouble with diabetes. Professor Chevion sees concerning trends in the Middle East and Africa, where the numbers will rise from about 55 million to 108 million patients by 2045. The economic costs to treat diabetes are staggering reports the Jerusalem Post—at possibly over $850 billion per year.
The Experimental Drug: Zygosid-50
Zygosid-50 was developed by Chevion and colleagues based on a family of non-steroidal chemical complexes, made of components approved for clinical use. These New Chemical Entities constitute a protected platform of drugs with proven efficacy and complete safety for treatments of multiple indications, claim the sponsors—as the drug hasn’t been through clinical trials yet. However, the drug does have three (3) mechanisms of action, extensively tested in animal models of human diseases including 1) potent anti-inflammatory agents, 2) strong iron-chelating agents, and 3) anti-biotic agents.
Professor Chevion reports that the investigational drug would be administered orally as a monotherapy drug to treat diabetics and prevent pre-diabetic patients. The drug has been developed to take on what he declares is the root cause of diabetes—diabetes resistance. Diabetes causes blood-glucose levels, also known as blood sugar levels, to be too high. Blood glucose does represent a person’s main source of energy, which, of course, originates from food. So Chevion notes, “For the same level of insulin that is produced, there is not enough infiltration of glucose into the muscles. Insulin is what facilitates the infiltration of glucose into its main customers, which is the muscles.”
When asked about Zygosid-50, he reports that it “almost completely reduces insulin resistance and normalizes all diabetes-associated parameters to a normal range.”
Chevion won first place in an award: the 17th Annual World Congress on Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease for his work on Zygosid-50.
Ready for Clinical Trials
Professor Chevion reports that Zygosid-50 is ready for clinical trials. He reported in the Jerusalem Post that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved clinical trials (e.g., their IND submission) after they included supplementary TOX studies, which were based on earlier animal models for Type 2 diabetes.
Chevion reported that first, they had to set up a holding company which they named Silkim Pharma, which is holding the company’s inventor patents. Then, Concenter BioPharma was set up as a subsidiary to execute the research and development and commercialization. In 2020 they are focused on raising $5 million to undertake the additional TOX study and, after that, continue on in-human clinical trials.
Call to Action: Concenter BioPharma appears to have a promising treatment for Type 2 Diabetes, which represents a huge market.