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U of Buffalo start-up lands SBIR funding to develop novel diabetes treatment

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 27th, 2018

A University of Buffalo (UB) start-up is developing an injectable drug that could help Type 2 diabetes patients control their blood sugar while aiding weight loss.

Transira Therapeutics has secured a $224,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the HIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, an offshoot of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Transira will use the funding to create a long-lasting version of its hormone-based drug that patients would inject once a week.

“This will increase the treatment’s effectiveness while making it easier for patients to use the medicine,” says Qing Lin, a chemistry professor at UB and founder of Transira. “With injectable drugs, you don’t want to ask people to use them too often because they may sometimes forget or skip a dose because they are not in a setting that’s convenient to make an injection. That’s why a longer-lasting therapy is so important.”

Transira’s hormone has been engineered to increase its efficiency using a technique called cross-linking that enhances its potency and enhances its life span in the body. The technique could also be used to develop other pharmaceuticals such as immunotherapies for cancer.

“The work of Dr. Lin and Transira Therapeutics is a prime example of how economic development and research can have a positive impact on human health,” says SUNY chancellor Kristina M. Johnson.

“As they approach this milestone in the commercialization process, they serve as an example of how public universities and the entrepreneurial start-up community can successfully work hand-in-hand to bring new, life-saving products to market,” says Johnson.

Source: UB News Center

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