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10 September, 2018 - 09:18 By Tony Quested

Arecor raises £6m to accelerate diabetes fight

A Cambridge UK life science innovator has been identified as a global gamechanger in tackling the rising tide of diabetes.

Arecor has secured £6 million investment from new and existing backers for the clinical development of its speciality pharma portfolio of proprietary diabetes products.

The equity investment was led by UK institutional investors Calculus Capital, Downing Ventures, and Albion Capital with significant participation from Arecor’s existing backers. 

Arecor’s next-generation diabetes product pipeline represents exciting technology progress in the field of diabetes that will enable important new treatment regimens and offer greater control of blood glucose to patients, which is key to improving outcomes and quality of life. 

The pipeline includes:-

  • Proprietary formulations of insulin analogues that are ultra-rapid acting and more closely match a healthy body’s physiological response to blood glucose, leading to better blood glucose (sugar) control – currently a significant challenge
  • Highly concentrated rapid acting insulin optimised for the next generation of body-worn miniaturised delivery devices, including the artificial pancreas
  • Stable aqueous ready to use glucagon used in an emergency to treat severe hypoglycaemia and enabling future use in bi-hormonal artificial pancreas systems

These programmes will be progressed through development to demonstrate improved product profiles and health outcomes in human clinical trials. 

In addition to these clinical programmes, the investment will allow Arecor to progress its pre-clinical pipeline of diabetes combination products, as well as a range of additional superior biotherapeutics addressing critical unmet needs in key disease areas.

The management of diabetes is one of the major global health challenges.  Indeed, the International Diabetes Federation estimates that there are nearly half a billion (425 million) people currently living with diabetes around the world and adds hat if the global direct and indirect healthcare costs from diabetes are included, the economic impact of the condition exceeds $1trillion.

Arecor chairman Dr Andy Richards told Business Weekly: “Arecor has been a growing success story over the last few years under CEO Dr Sarah Howell’s leadership. She is truly impressive.

“This fundraising also signals that you can make real therapeutic progress without always raising 10s of millions, by being smart and focused.
“You will find very few other innovative companies in the UK tackling diabetes despite the size of the market and the medical need.”

While Arecor will be taking its product portfolio into clinical development itself, it will ultimately look to partner with specialist diabetes companies for late stage clinical studies and global market access.

The company, which was originally based on unique protein chemistry technology and insights spun out from Unilever, has refined and developed these into the Arestat formulation technology platform.

This platform has been used extensively to improve the solution properties of numerous protein, antibody, vaccine and peptide formulations both in collaboration with pharmaceutical partners, as well as for Arecor’s own pipeline.  

Arecor has established a proven track record in applying this technology platform to deliver superior biopharmaceutical product profiles across a broad range of therapeutic areas. 

CEO Dr Sarah Howell (pictured) said: “With diabetes reaching epidemic proportions worldwide and with close to half a billion people living with the condition today, the opportunity of advancing our diabetes products into human clinical trials and their potential to significantly improve the treatment of this debilitating disease, represents a very exciting and ground-breaking proposition.”

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