Follicum AB today announces that significant progress has been made in the company’s development of new drug treatments for diabetes and other diseases. Within the framework of a preclinical research project, the interaction between one of Follicum’s tissue-repairing peptide families and a specific receptor has been characterized in detail. This will help accelerate continued optimization work aimed at advancing the company’s preclinical projects to the clinical phase and increases their attractiveness among potential commercial partners. Follicum’s most advanced drug candidate, FOL-005, is already in clinical phase 2 for the treatment of hair loss.
Follicum develops tissue repairing peptides that have the potential to improve the treatment of a range of different diseases, including unwanted hair loss and diabetes. For over a year, the company together with Lund University and SARomics Biostructures has been conducting a research project aiming at studying the binding of the peptides to specific receptors on the cell membrane. The project has received research grants from Vinnova and part of the work has been carried out at the MAX IV laboratory in Lund.
Recent studies conducted with advanced X-ray crystallography have contributed to an increased knowledge of how one of Follicum’s tissue-repairing peptide families interacts at the atomic level with a particular receptor. X-Ray images with extremely high resolution (0.15 nanometers) show that the peptides bind to a specific part of the receptor that is considered to play an important role in repairing and protecting organ tissue in a variety of medical conditions. These positive findings facilitate the company’s continued development of peptide-based drugs.
CEO Jan Alenfall comments:
“Our research collaboration has resulted in an even better understanding of how one of our therapeutic peptide families affects important receptors on cells involved in tissue repair. This facilitates continued preclinical work, not least within our diabetes project, and increases the opportunities to establish commercial cooperation with global pharmaceutical companies as we move into the more resource-intensive development phases”.
Follicum’s diabetes project comprises a range of therapeutic peptides from two separate classes of substances (peptide families) that have been shown to protect beta cells in preclinical trials, thus increasing their ability to release insulin. The experiments show that insulin release increases with rising sugar concentration, which is a highly sought-after feature in patients with high blood sugar. So far, no adverse effects of the peptides have been detected. The properties of the peptides have been confirmed in several preclinical studies. In these studies, positive effects on common complications of diabetes have been highlighted and a protective effect on insulin-producing cells exposed to prolonged harmful exposure to high sugar concentrations have also been seen, thus suggesting a potential for both delaying and alleviating the disease. The project is in preclinical phase and a lead drug candidate was selected in 2019.
For further information, please contact:
Jan Alenfall – CEO, Follicum AB
Phone: +46 (0)709 31 51 15
About Follicum AB
Follicum AB (Publ. – Spotlight: FOLLI) develops drug candidates based on tissue reparing peptides with potential use in several therapeutic areas. The company’s primary candidate, FOL-005 for stimulating hair growth, is currently being evaluated in a phase IIa study in collaboration with internationally reputable specialist clinics. The company’s project in diabetes aims at protecting insulin producing cells against damage and thereby reducing the risk of complications. Based on promising preclinical results preparations for entering a phase I study are ongoing. Both projects have the potential to become so called first-in-class drugs. For more information, please visit www.follicum.com.