Tolerx faces moment of truth with pivotal trial

Tolerx will find out later this year whether 10 years of work and $150 million will pay off with a new approach to treating autoimmune diseases.

Researchers for the company are following the lives of 240 people with Type 1 diabetes who signed up for their pivotal trial of an experimental drug that is designed to alter the balance of immune system cells. And the Cambridge, MA-based company's CEO, Doug Ringler, tells Xconomy's Luke Timmerman that if they're right, the new drug will significantly reduce patients' dependence on insulin and their exposure to harsh side effects.

"This is a new therapeutic paradigm. It represents opportunities and challenges," Ringler says. "This isn't a cure, but the data we have so far suggest it's the closest thing to a cure we have."

GlaxoSmithKline will be paying close attention. The pharma company signed on as a collaborator with Tolerx back in 2007, promising to pay up to $760 million for a successful development program. Tolerx was a 2008 Fierce 15 company.

- here's the article from Xconomy