Degeneration and death of pancreatic islet b-cells is the definitive cause of irreversible diabetes in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes (T2D). Researchers at The University of Auckland are developing an early stage therapeutic peptide, Vesiculin, a putative islet beta cell growth factor that has shown potential to slow the degeneration of islet β-cells and/or even regenerate islet β-cells thus restoring a patient's ability to produce insulin. This would allow more effective long term control of T2D through slowing the onset of insulin resistance in T2D patients. Vesiculin is derived from IGF-II and is secreted from islet β cell granules. Genetic evidence and structural analysis supports the hypothesis that Vesiculin is a islet b-cell-specific growth factor, and its isolation from pancreatic β-cells suggests that it may well perform function(s) in that vicinity.Vesiculin may also play a role in the direct control of the glucose and glycogen balance, and so could be a potential alternative to insulin, especially in patients that have become insulin-resistant. Initial studies have shown that Vesiculin stimulates in vitro muscle glycogen synthesis, with an efficacy better than that of other peptides, including rat-derived insulin II and human IGF-II. On-going studies are being conducted to evaluate the efficacy and ADME profile of Vesiculin in vivo.
UniServices is seeking investment and partnerships with industry.
UniServices currently owns a patent family derived from PCTNZ2006/00078 filed 20/04/2006 and claiming priority back to US 60/673537 dated 20/04/2005. National Phase patent applications are pending in the USA, Europe and Japan. This patent family covers Vesiculin polypeptides and conserved variants and pharmaceutical formulations including such polypeptides.
Proof of Principle - Laboratory demonstration of principle only