The creation of the Diabetes Research Forum in March marked the first time the Association has ever formed an alliance to specifically support drug discovery and development. Due to the increasing cost and length of drug development, it now requires an average of 14 years and $800 million to develop one new drug. In that time, roughly 3 million people will die of complications from diabetes. Diabetes is responsible for more deaths annually than AIDS and breast cancer combined, with a total annual economic cost exceeding $100 billion.
As part of the Association's briefing on "New Frontiers in Biology and Medicine" at the Annual Scientific Sessions, Jeff Trimmer, Ph.D. of Entelos, briefly showed the Entelos Diabetes PhysioLab simulation technology and explained how the Forum will use this technology to advance diabetes research and more quickly bring new therapies to market.
Using the diabetes PhysioLab simulation technology, Entelos tests potential new treatments on virtual patients, simulating clinical trials and identifying which treatments will be effective, under what circumstances, and for which patients. By furthering the understanding of the complex mechanisms of metabolism, this technology can help to advance diabetes research and uncover new breakthroughs in treatment.
"Our goal in this endeavour is to discover a cure for diabetes or at least identify therapies which halt disease progression", stated Richard Kahn, Ph.D., Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of the American Diabetes Association. "While 200.000 people die nationwide each year from diabetes complications, it has been more than a decade since we have seen a major advancement in combating this disease."
By evaluating drug targets and compounds in silico, the PhysioLab simulation technology can reduce the high failure rates associated with long and expensive clinical trials and bring better therapies to patients faster. Analysts have estimated that technologies like this could save 2-3 years and $200 million per drug.
"We applaud Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, not only for their prompt response to the Forum but also because they were Entelos' partner in the development of the first diabetes PhysioLab technology. With Entelos' revolutionary technology, the Forum can be the catalyst that significantly advances diabetes research and quickly brings new therapies to people who suffer from diabetes", added Dr. Kahn.
Entelos creates computer models that simulate human disease and predict patient responses to treatment. Using Entelos diabetes PhysioLab simulation technology, scientists from the Association and Entelos will generate novel theories, hypotheses and discoveries relating to type 2 diabetes and provide them to all participants. To support the specific research efforts of each Forum participant, Entelos will provide access to the diabetes PhysioLab technology and dedicated in silico scientists to work with each participating company on an individual basis.
The Forum will commence this year and continue for a minimum of three years. In addition to in silico scientists, cutting-edge technology, and rights to novel research and intellectual property, participants will have access to a state-of-the-art, high-performance compute platform called the Diabetes BioCluster.
Donated by Hewlett Packard, the Diabetes BioCluster will be the largest integrated high-performance computing system in the world dedicated to a single disease. Further participants benefits include the ability to influence the direction and scope of the diabetes PhysioLab technology, invitation to an annual Forum conference, and fast-tracking of Forum-related research abstracts and papers in the Association's journal and conferences.
The American Diabetes Association is the nation's premier voluntary health organisation supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy. Founded in 1940, the Association has offices in every region of the country, providing services to hundreds of communities. The Association's commitment to research is reflected through its scientific meetings; education and provider recognition programmes; and its Research Foundation and Nationwide Research Programme, which fund breakthrough studies looking into the cure, prevention, and treatment of diabetes and its complications.
Entelos Inc. is specialised in predictive biosimulation for in silico drug discovery and development. The company's patented PhysioLab technology provides a breakthrough platform for testing experiments and hypotheses in silico, predicting the results through simulation, and creating knowledge out of fragmented discovery and clinical data. Entelos provides integrated expertise in the metabolic, immunologic, and respiratory areas, and currently offers PhysioLab systems for asthma, obesity, diabetes, adipocytes, and rheumatoid arthritis.