Zucara Therapeutics is developing ZT-01, a first-in-class, once-daily therapeutic to prevent insulin-induced hypoglycemia in patients using insulin therapy. ZT-01 is designed to inhibit somatostatin, a pancreatic hormone that impairs the glucagon response to hypoglycemia in people with insulin dependent diabetes. ZT-01 restores glucagon secretion to prevent hypoglycemia, which could dramatically change diabetes disease management and improve both patient health and quality of life.
Zucara’s initial focus is on the prevention of nocturnal hypoglycemia, which is of significant concern to both patients with T1D and their caregivers.
Unlocking the role of somatostatin
Our technology is aimed at creating the first treatment to prevent dangerous low blood sugar by restoring the body’s ability to counter-regulate hypoglycemia. This approach will reduce the likelihood of insulin therapy to cause hypoglycemia without affecting its efficacy. The immediate patient benefits would include the reduced occurrence of hypoglycemia and its associated acute symptoms and effects. This in turn would allow diabetic patients to more aggressively treat themselves with insulin, resulting in better overall health outcomes in the long term.
The approach is to block somatostatin type 2 (SSTR2) receptors on α-cells in the pancreas, which are stimulated at a higher than normal level by somatostatin during hypoglycemia in insulin-dependent diabetic patients. The effect of this dysregulated somatostatin on α-cells is to suppress glucagon secretion, which results in the insulin-dependent diabetic patient being unable to avoid or recover from hypoglycemia.
Advantages of the Technology
- First-in-class novel antagonist with the demonstrated potential to prevent hypoglycemia without affecting normal blood glucose levels
- Independently validated proof of concept data supports the hypothesis: activity in multiple in vivo models and ex vivo in human pancreatic tissues.
- Completed Phase 1 single and multiple ascending dose trial in healthy volunteers and Type 1 diabetics where ZT-01 was shown to be safe and well tolerated.