Pipeline

The company has a pipeline of platform technologies that will identify and develop targets for treatment of diabetes and complications.

Several key areas of markers are currently being developed and validated in collaboration with Joslin.

Treatment of complications

The most common diabetes complications are loss of vision, loss of kidney function, and cardiovascular disease which arise in patients at varying degrees between 20 and 30 years with the disease. Working closely with Joslin, Jenesis is exploring pathways that may harbor protective factors against retinopathy (eye disease) and nephropathy (kidney disease) in patients with diabetes. The potential markers are being characterized and developed with Joslin through its “Medalist Study.” Joslin has closely studied Type I diabetes patients who have had the disease for more than 50 years; these patients have significantly lower rates of retinopathy and nephropathy compared to diabetes patients in general (Sun et al. Diabetes Care, 2011).

Jenesis and Joslin are collaborating to characterize molecular differential factors in those patients who appear to be “protected” from complications despite the long exposure to diabetes. Early studies demonstrate that key pathways and potential drug targets may be developed and validated from comparison of tissue- and blood-based proteomic and metabolomics analyses.

Jenesis is also working with other programs focused on diabetic eye disease which are identifying unique targets from samples of patients treated for retinopathy. These studies will help characterize response to existing treatments or new targets in pathways involved in control of diabetic retinopathy.

Jenesis will prioritize markers, design and conduct in vivo validation studies, identify drug-able targets among the differential molecular factors, and develop alliances for development of targets into potential new treatments for diabetes complications.

Molecular Factors in Exercise-mediated Benefit in Diabetes

Jenesis and Joslin are studying molecular signaling involved in exercise-mediated benefit in diabetes. While it is commonly known and well demonstrated that glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity are enhanced in skeletal muscle with exercise, the mechanisms through which it is enabled are not well known. Similarly, in animal models, it has been shown that transplanting subcutaneous adipose tissue from exercise-trained mice into control mice improves glucose tolerance short-term.

Molecular profiles of subcutaneous tissue from trained and untrained mice are now being analyzed to identify genomic factors that are differential and their association with secretion of specific adipokines involved in the mediation of exercise-related uptake of glucose in skeletal muscle. In addition, secretory factors associated with skeletal muscle fibers in response to exercise such as myokines are being characterized for their key role in mediating exercise related benefits for diabetes.

The identification, modulation and development of factors from muscle or fat tissue can lead to novel ways of treating Type 2 diabetes with therapeutic approaches.

Beta cell development and maturation

The study of beta cell biology for regeneration and maturation for efficient insulin production is at the core of finding better treatments and a cure for diabetes. Jenesis is focusing on identifying markers in pathways that control beta cell development and their maturation in collaboration with Joslin and other partners.

Researchers at Joslin have employed various approaches to identify and validate markers involved in regulation of insulin secretion from beta cells. Jenesis is working with strategic partners to screen small molecule drug candidates or develop biologic approaches for modulating identified targets. Further experiments are underway to prioritize markers and generate in vivo data on effects on clinically-relevant endpoints.