Grand Rapids drug company announces test results of cutting-edge diabetes treatment

By: Deborah Johnson Wood

A Grand Rapids pharmaceutical research firm announced this week that preliminary data from its Phase IIa clinical trials indicate its lead compound, MSDC-0160, lowers blood glucose levels without the side effects of weight gain or edema – common side effects of medications currently on the market.

Metabolic Solutions Development Co., which has offices in Grand Rapids and a laboratory in Kalamazoo, conducted the nationwide tests on nearly 100 diabetics over a 28-day period.

"This was our first study with the lead compound in a diabetic population," says Mark Olesnavage, CEO. "It significantly lowered blood glucose versus a placebo and it was very nice to see a nice rise in HDL cholesterol. We used Actos as a comparator, HDL rises with Actos as well, and those patients did have some weight gain."

In addition, MSDC-0160 did not decrease circulating blood cell levels, unlike Actos.

"We can't draw conclusions with this number of people over this short period of time, but Phase IIb will be longer and will involve between 250 and 300 people," Olesnavage says. "Phase IIb will begin by the end of the year, and might include international sites."

One of the complications with diabetes is cardiovascular disease and most patients succumb to the disease due to cardiovascular issues. Metabolic must show that the compound is not going to increase cardiovascular disease.

Metabolic began developing the compound in 2006. Olesnavage points out that the drug, as yet unnamed, is many years and many millions of dollars from market, if favorable test results continue to move development forward.

Source: Mark Olesnavage, Metabolic Solutions Development Company; Nick Wasmiller, Seyferth & Associates

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Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected].

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