Poxel continues to interest the market after its successful IPO in February 2015, where it has raised approximately €27M with an incredible jump of +100% on its third day as a public company. Imeglimin, its lead candidate, is a Type 2 diabetes treatment (licensed by Merck Serono) on the launch of Phase III.
This innovative compound is the first of a new class of oral antidiabetic agents called “glimins“. It basically decreases mitcohondrial respiration, meaning that it targets the key defect associated with all three organs implicated in the disease.
Clinical studies to date have proven Imeglimin to have an efficiency comparable to Metformin and with a better, placebo-like safety/tolerability profile. Metformin is the first-line drug of choice for treating type 2 diabetes. Unlike Imeglimin, Metformin works by suppressing glucose production by the liver. The average person with type 2 diabetes produces three times the normal amount of glucose. Metformin treatment reduces this by over one-third. The only problem with Metformin is that it is no longer effective for sensitive populations, such as the elderly and renal-impaired patients. The unique mode of action and very safe profile of Imeglinin makes it potentially applicable to these individuals, which represents a huge market worldwide (and most importantly for investors, an evergrowing market!).
The first positive results of the phase IIb trial were disclosed in December 2014. The start of Imeglimin development in Asia just followed with the launch of a phase I clinical trial on Japanese subjects in late 2014. Poxel is currently continuing its strategic planning of the phase III programs in Europe and the United States, which will be carried out with a partner (can we already bet on a diabetes giant such as Sanofi?).
Poxel has the assets to easily attract partners. The company is also developing PXL770, the first drug candidate directly activating AMPK, an enzyme that controls whole-body energy metabolism and plays an important role in the management of diabetes. The goal is to provide the same metabolic benefits as physical activity. PXL770 already achieved positive safety and efficacy results in pre-clinical trials and an initiation of a phase 1 clinical trial is now planed and should begin by the end of 2015. This drug candidate could open up new perspectives in the treatment of diabetes, especially for patients with cardiovascular complications.
With Adocia and Poxel, France has a really promising pool of future champions in diabetes treatments. Adocia already seems to be backed up by Ely Lilly. Will European giants let Poxel be captured by another American pharma?