Protemix corporation announces discovery of way to repair hearts damaged by diabetes

August 30, 2004

Auckland, New Zealand (August 31, 2004): New Zealand biopharmaceutical company Protemix Corporation has announced the discovery of a treatment which appears to reverse heart disease in people suffering from diabetes and may lead to a more effective intervention in a major cause of death worldwide.

A study1 published in the September issue of the world-leading journal Diabetes shows that six months treatment with the orally active small molecule, LaszarinTM, brought about a significant reduction towards normal heart size in diabetic patients with cardiac enlargement.

Diabetes is often accompanied by enlargement and dysfunction of the heart and coronary heart disease and these are major causes of death2. According to the World Health Organisation, over 194 million people have diabetes.

The research led by Professor Garth Cooper and Dr. John Baker of Protemix demonstrates for the first time that defective metabolism of copper in people with diabetes is implicated in the development of heart disease. LaszarinTM, developed in New Zealand by Protemix, removes the excess copper from the body.

The study in preclinical models and in Phase 2 human clinical trials in subjects with type-2 diabetes, showed that LaszarinTM caused increased urinary output of copper compared with treated controls. The researchers found reversed heart failure in preclinical models. They also found that the damaged hearts in the preclinical models and humans had substantively regenerated after treatment with LaszarinTM .

Professor Cooper explained: 'The next step is to investigate this novel treatment, which is the first in its class, in Phase 3 trials in humans. We are currently submitting our Investigational New Drug Application (IND) to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enable this process to occur. If successful in Phase 3, LaszarinTM has a potential worldwide market of over two million people with diabetic heart failure.'

Professor Norman Sharpe, Medical Director, New Zealand Heart Foundation said: 'We hear the word breakthrough all too often, but this is a significant finding for diabetes research, which provides insight into the mechanisms of the disease. There is a distinct possibility for intervention and treatment. This work needs now to be transferred into larger scale clinical trials. It has been assumed since the beginning of time that heart muscle will not regenerate. This work refutes that.'

'This is great news for biotechnology and research in New Zealand. It shows that we can do high quality, international level research in this country. We have the wherewithal, the people and the facilities.'
-end-
Professor Harvey White, Director of Coronary Care and Cardiovascular Research, Greenlane Cardiovascular Service at Auckland Hospital commented: 'This is an important contribution from New Zealand which will make the cardiological and diabetic world sit up and take notice. This group has found a treatment, which has now been shown in man to improve the function of the heart. This could have a major impact on the management of diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. There is further work to be done and we hope to be part of the team carrying out further studies in man.'

1 Cooper GJS and associates: Regeneration of the Heart in Diabetes by Selective Copper Chelation. Diabetes 53:2501-2508, 2004 2 Struthers AD, Morris AD: Screening for and treating left-ventricular abnormalities in diabetes mellitus: a new way of reducing cardiac deaths. Lancet 359:1430-1432, 2002

ABOUT DIABETES AND HEART DISEASE
Heart disease is the major cause of death in diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 65% of people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. With diabetes, heart attacks also occur earlier in life and often result in death.

ABOUT LASZARINTM
LaszarinTM has been shown in experimental models to significantly alleviate heart failure following seven weeks of treatment, and without lowering blood glucose. It was also shown to substantially improve cardiomyocyte structure, and to reverse elevation in left ventricular collagen and β-1 integrin. Oral treatment with LaszarinTM has been demonstrated to result in elevated copper excretion in humans with type 2 diabetes and, following six months of treatment, caused elevated left ventricular mass to decline significantly toward normal. LaszarinTM has been shown to be well-tolerated by patients in clinical trials to date.

ABOUT PROTEMIX CORPORATION
Protemix is a New Zealand biopharmaceutical company with research facilities located within The University of Auckland that develops novel therapies for cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and other metabolic disorders. Protemix was founded in 1999 to commercialise the research of Professor Garth Cooper and Dr John Baker, both internationally recognised researchers with proven records of commercial success. Professor Cooper, Protemix's Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer, discovered the peptide hormone amylin and invented amylin replacement therapy for diabetics. Professor Keith Mansford, former Chairman, Research and Development at SmithKline Beecham, is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Protemix. The Company's lead product candidate, LaszarinTM, is a therapeutic copper binding molecule currently being evaluated in late-stage clinical trials for the treatment of heart failure in people with diabetes.

Further information:

David Pool
Protemix Corporation Limited
Ph 64-9-303-5351, 64-21-978-224

U.S. Media Contact:

Joan Kureczka
Kureczka/Martin Associates
Ph 415-821-2413
Jkureczka@comcast.net

Kureczka/Martin Associates

Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.