Pipeline

Our pipeline

Currently Follicum has two defined development projects, both based on our research on human proteins. Our two drug candidates, FOL-005 and FOL-014, are shorter sequences of proteins, so-called peptides. The profile of each drug candidate is described in short in the following diagram.

follicum-pipeline-en-02

FOL-005 for stimulation of hair growth

Follicum has, in collaboration with international R & D partners evaluated FOL-005 in different models for regulation of hair growth – both in preclinical models and on humans. Our development process is briefly described below:

  • Trials on mice (2012)
  • Trials on human tissue in-vitro (2013)
  • Trials on human tissue transplanted on mice (2015)
  • Toxicity trials, three months (2016)
  • Clinical phase I/IIa trials on humans (2016/2017)
  • Development of topical formulation 2017/18
  • Clinical phase IIa trial on scalp (2018)

The initial trials on mice showed a considerable stimulation of hair growth. Following up with trials on human tissue (in-vitro) showed an inhibition of hair growth with high doses of FOL-005. Follow-up trials with human tissue transplanted on mice confirmed these results. All trials involving live animals have been carried out according to the highest standards of ethics.

Preparing for further clinical trials of FOL-005, Follicum conducted among other studies two separate three month toxicity studies during 2016. All studies showed that FOL-005 was safe.

During the period from late 2016 to early 2017 the first clinical trial was carried out on healthy humans at the Charité Hospital of Berlin. The main objective of the trials was to confirm the safety of the drug, FOL-005, but also to measure effect. The trial showed, first of all, that the treatment was safe, but also a considerable increase in hair growth. 76% of the trial persons responded with increased growth. At this specific dose, the hair growth was + 8% compared to before treatment. The increase is statistically ensured (p=0,0038, not adjusted for multiplicity).

Our continued work on FOL-005 will include further phase II and phase III trials, in order to confirm the hair stimulation effect, as well as studying possible dosages and topical administration of the drug.

In parallel to our clinical development of FOL-005 we also investigate the mechanism of action. This will enhance our design of the pre-clinical models that we use to understand hair growth. With the ultimate goal being to develop substances for both stimulation and inhibition of hair growth.

New peptide class for treatment of diabetes

Our new peptide class stimulates insulin release and has the potential to be a valuable complement in the treatment of diabetes. During the past year, we have carried out a variety of preclinical studies that have shown that Follicum’s peptides have insulin-releasing effects that are comparable to, or even better than, existing diabetes treatments. Moreover, insulin release is potentiated with increasing glucose concentration in in vitro studies. The potential of the peptides has also been confirmed in glucose tolerance tests where they have a glucose lowering effect in experimental animals. The market for diabetes-related drugs is huge and very competitive. Therefore, we are focusing on identifying factors that can differentiate us from competitors and thereby lead to an early partnership engagement.

During the spring, we strengthened our diabetes patent and submitted an updated application to the patent authorities at the beginning of May. The preclinical work is carried out in cooperation with Follicum’s research network at Lund University.

The preclinical results demonstrate the ability of peptides to delay the onset of Type 1 diabetes in an animal model. The results further clarify that the peptide specifically distributes to the pancreas, which is beneficial for an insulin regulating drug because the pancreas is the body’s center for insulin production.

The next objective in the diabetes project is to select a drug candidate by the end of 2018 and to begin preparations for a Phase I study planned to commence at the start of 2020. The goal is to run a diabetes project that is attractive to global partners.

Participation in an international diabetes project
Follicum is part of a comprehensive diabetes project led by Lund University since 2017, funded by the Foundation for Strategic Research. In addition to Follicum, Scandinavia’s largest pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Probi, CardioVax, Region Skåne / Skåne University Hospital, and the world’s third largest pharmaceutical company Pfizer are participating in the project. This collaborative space provides valuable contacts and opportunities for networking at the highest international level. We are also very pleased that the Novo Nordisk Foundation awarded Professor Jan Nilsson’s research team at the Clinical Research Center at Lund University DKK 400,000 for performing preclinical diabetes studies with Follicum’s peptides.