Getting Smarter About Smart Insulin
JDRF is getting smarter about smart insulin.
They’re funding another round of Glucose-Reponsive Insulin research (explained in a webcast today) but this time they’re not handing over a lump sum; the Glucose-Responsive Insulin Prize will be offered in stages, with $100K for the “Ideation Challenge.”
Smart! A couple years ago, JDRF funded SmartCells‘ development of Smart Insulin, which made good progress. They completed proof-of-concept trials, moved into pre-clinical trials (happy mice!),
and were acquired by Merck in December of last year. Whither Smart Insulin, whose patent now belongs to Merck?
Comments scrolling by during the webcast expressed doubt about whether Merck would bring Smart Insulin to market. There’s some reason to be hopeful. Merck has two Type2 drugs (Janumet & Januvia) that lower insulin resistance: Smart Insulin would be a great complement, and the T2 market would ensure the financial incentive.
Back to JDRF’s GRI Prize: participants will transfer IP rights to JDRF, protecting the IP even if the company is acquired.
And they’re crowd-sourcing the idea (partnering with InnoCentive) – we can all get in on it!