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License acquisition

Eiger acquires post-bariatric hypoglycaemia therapeutic

There is currently no approved treatment for surgical hypoglycaemia

Eiger BioPharmaceuticals has acquired an exclusive license to a targeted therapeutic for treating post-bariatric surgical hypoglycaemia. The technology was invented by Dr Tracey McLaughlin, Associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford University Medical Center in the Division of Endocrinology. There is currently no approved treatment for this condition, and severe cases have been surgically managed with near-total to total pancreatectomy, which results in insulin-dependent diabetes and is associated with up to a 6% surgical mortality risk.

"Research suggests that elevated glucagon-like-peptide (GLP-1) may play an important role in hyperinsulinemic hypoglycaemia in post-bariatric surgery patients. Surgically-altered nutrient transit causes enhanced secretion of GLP-1 leading to elevated insulin secretion. This effect may play a primary role in the early resolution of Type 2 diabetes after surgery," said Dr Joanne Quan, Chief Medical Officer at Eiger. "An exaggeration of this same effect in some patients results in severe debilitating hypoglycaemia. Stanford Researchers have now demonstrated in multiple clinical studies in patients that pharmacologic blockade of the GLP-1 receptor with Exendin (9-39) prevents hypoglycaemia and improves symptoms. Exendin (9-39) may represent the first targeted medical treatment for patients with post-bariatric surgical hypoglycaemia."

Exendin (9-39) is a well-characterised, competitive antagonist of GLP-1 at its receptor. Administration of Exendin (9-39) blocks the GLP-1 receptor and leads to reduced insulin secretion by the pancreas. Exendin (9-39) is a 31 amino acid fragment of exenatide, a commercially available GLP-1 agonist that increases insulin secretion by the pancreas. Exendin (9-39), as a new molecular entity, has never been approved or commercialised for any indication.

"Bariatric surgery for morbid obesity and Type 2 diabetes is a mainstay of treatment and as such, we expect to see the reported numbers of patients suffering from post-surgical hypoglycaemia to increase in the future," said David Cory, President and CEO at Eiger. "There is no approved therapy for this disorder. Exendin (9-39) is a well-characterised compound that can be conveniently delivered as a targeted therapy, and encouraging clinical results have already been demonstrated by Dr McLaughlin's team at Stanford University using different formulations and routes of delivery in patients suffering with hyperinsulinemic hypoglycaemia." 

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