Entelos Joins Consortium funded by Pfizer to Identify New Targets for Diabetes and Obesity
FOSTER CITY, California, April 28, 2008 â€“ Entelos, Inc. (LSE:ENTL) a leading life sciences company building predictive computer models of human physiology and "virtual patients" for drug discovery and development, announced today that it has entered an agreement with Pfizer, Inc. (â€œPfizerâ€) and four universities to apply novel computational approaches to identify new drug targets relevant to diabetes and obesity. Pfizerâ€™s initial funding for the consortium is $14.4 million over the next three years, with an option to extend for an additional two years.
The consortium, called the Insulin Resistance Pathways Project (IRP Project), is comprised of top researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Massachusetts (UMass), Entelos, and several research groups from within Pfizer. Please refer to Pfizerâ€™s press release issued on 25 April 2008 for further detail.
The objectives of the consortium include three main activities: i) to collect targeted dynamic data about insulin pathways within specific human cell types; ii) to use mathematical models to better understand the biological mechanisms of these pathways; and, iii) to translate findings to predict human clinical response using Entelosâ€™ computer model of whole-body metabolism. The goal of the IRP Project is identify drug targets within cells which will ultimately lead to a compelling new class of diabetes drugsâ€”drugs that will relieve insulin resistance, a major factor in diabetes and obesity.
â€œThis will be a highly interactive effort," said Preston Hensley, Ph.D., Senior Director, Worldwide Exploratory Science and Technology at Pfizer, and leader of the IRP project.Â "Scientists across Pfizer, including researchers from Pfizer's Groton, Connecticut Research and Development site as well as from its Research Technology Center in Cambridge, Mass, will work directly with the external research teams to progress the research.Â In addition, we will protect our academic colleague's fundamental interests by allowing them to publish and/or patent any discoveries made in the areas of basic biology.Â We are very fortunate to be involved with this prestigious team and look forward to advancing new treatments for these conditions to the clinic, and ultimately, to patients around the world."
Â â€œWe are extremely pleased to join this world-class systems biology consortium driven by Pfizer,â€ added James Karis, president and CEO of Entelos. â€œWe believe that our PhysioLab platforms and metabolic disease knowledge will help to identify pathways at the level of the cell that have the greatest impact in patients. We look forward to making a significant contribution to this consortium and to helping deliver a prioritized list of new drug targets to relieve insulin resistance.