JDRF is excited to announce today that JDRF T1D Fund portfolio company Protomer Technologies has been acquired by Eli Lilly and Company. Protomer is developing glucose-sensing, or “smart,” insulin, which is designed to sense sugar levels in the blood and automatically activate as needed throughout the day. This approach, using technology that began with JDRF funding, has the potential to revolutionize the treatment and quality of life of people with diabetes by improving both the efficacy and safety of insulin therapy.
JDRF and T1D Fund Connection
JDRF has been an early supporter of “smart” insulin (also called glucose-responsive insulin, or GRI), and JDRF and the T1D Fund have supported Protomer from before the company’s inception through its sale to Lilly. In 2013, Alborz Mahdavi, Ph.D., was a winner of the JDRF Agnes Varis GRI Grand Challenge Prize. Subsequently, he founded Protomer, which was initially funded by JDRF’s Industry Discovery and Development Program.
Following these successful grants from JDRF, the T1D Fund made a minority equity investment in Protomer’s Seed round, alongside Eli Lilly, to advance the company’s highly promising glucose-sensing insulin program.
The successful sale of Protomer to Eli Lilly is a great example of how JDRF research, the T1D Fund, and key diabetes industry players collaborate as a part of a larger ecosystem to help advance meaningful therapies for the T1D community.
The T1D Fund’s investment in Protomer represents clear mission impact—moving treatments for T1D closer to people. As one of the leaders in the field of diabetes, Lilly brings substantial resources that will be needed to move Protomer’s technology towards the clinic. The Fund’s share of any future returns from its minority investment in Protomer will be realized over the course of several years, if and when agreed-upon development and commercial milestones are achieved.
For more information on the acquisition, please see Lilly’s press release.
Go here for more information about the JDRF T1D Fund.