Debiopharm and Mercury to develop Debio 0930


For the treatment of diabetes and metabolic diseases

Debiopharm, a Swiss biopharmaceutical group, and Mercury Therapeutics, a US biotec, have agreed to develop Debio 0930, a small molecule activator of AMPK (adenosine monophosphate activated protein kinase) for the treatment of diabetes and metabolic diseases. Activation of AMPK has been shown to lower fasting blood glucose levels and improve glucose disposal, two key goals in the management of type 2 diabetes.

Under the terms of the agreement, Debiopharm will pay Mercury, which is based in Woburn, Massachusetts, r&d, milestone payments and royalties based on net sales of the commercialised product. The first clinical trials are expected to take place in 2012.

"This alliance with Debiopharm represents important validation of Mercury's technology and of the growing appreciation of AMPK as a novel drug target for metabolic diseases," said Dr Neal Birnberg, ceo of Mercury.

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"The development of an orally available direct activator of AMPK has the potential to be a therapeutic for type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and a number of indications in oncology."