Updated on 9 May 2012
Mr Vince Wacher, CEO - Verva Pharmaceuticals
While pharmaceutical companies worldwide are looking for newer and safer insulin sensitizers to treat diabetes, Australia-based Verva Pharmaceuticals is working on a product candidate that promises to be an effective tool in controlling diabetes.
Analyzing the need of the hour, Verva Pharmaceuticals started developing an insulin sensitizer, VVP808, that makes diabetic liver cells more responsive to insulin and reduces hepatic glucose production. According to the company, VVP808 is not structurally or mechanistically related to existing insulin sensitizers, such as Avandia by GlaxoSmithKline and Actos by Takeda, and hence it is not expected to have the side effects observed in using these products.
Avandia and Actos were multi-billion dollar products before safety concerns limited their use. Since then, there has been a significant interest in identifying new insulin sensitizers to replace these products.
Verva Pharmaceuticals is a virtual, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing novel therapies to treat diabetes and obesity. It was formed in December 2007 by consolidation of key diabetes assets, discovery technologies and targets in Autogen Research (formerly the diabetes-focused subsidiary of ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals) with those of obesity drug development company, Adipogen Pharmaceuticals.
Credited with a lot of potential, Verva has achieved multi-directional achievements since its inception. Recently, it executed a $515,488 (AUD500,000) subscription agreement with Medical Research Commercialization Fund (MRCF), which is an extension of its series A investment. The company also closed enrolment in the VVP808 clinical study at 76 participants.