Three CBID Alums Form Start-up With Goal of Disrupting Landscape of T2DM
Pratik Patel, Kevin Colbert and Michael Parlato are the founders of Glyscend, Inc., a startup with the ambitious goal of disrupting the treatment landscape for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). T2DM is one of the most prevalent diseases in the United States, with over 20 million diagnosed patients, approximately 8 million undiagnosed, and an additional 86 million with the condition known as prediabetes. The disease costs the United States in excess of $245 billion annually. Traditional managements strategies, coupled with diet and exercise, can be effective at controlling the symptoms of the disease. However, recent randomized clinical studies involving bariatric surgery for obese patients have uncovered the efficacy of the procedure as a potential treatment for T2DM. In some cases, patients undergoing roux-en-y gastric bypass leave the hospital no longer requiring insulin. Curiously, this therapeutic effect is completely independent of weight loss.
Unfortunately, surgery is not an option for the vast majority of T2DM patients due to the associated risks and eligibility requirements. Glyscend aims to extend the benefits of surgery to the millions of T2DM patients who are unable to control their blood sugars with traditional treatment strategies. The team has identified the interruption of key signaling pathways in the proximal gut as a primary mechanism behind bariatric surgery’s efficacy. Meanwhile, during their time at the CBID, the founders of Glyscend recognized the preservation of the traditional care pathway as an important component of a scalable solution.
Glyscend aims to meet the needs of patients and physicians alike with the first orally dosed intestinal lining for the treatment of T2DM. This novel approach will for the first time enable endocrinologists and primary care physicians to take advantage of the lessons from surgery, without requiring a break in the traditional care pathway. By putting a more efficacious tool in the hands of the doctors who currently manage diabetic treatment strategies, the company hopes to reach a much wider patient population than surgery ever could.
Since graduating from CBID in May of 2014, Pratik, Kevin and Michael have assembled a fantastic team of experts and attracted funding from VentureWell, TEDCO, and the Coulter Translational Partnership at Johns Hopkins. Most recently, Glyscend, in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, won a small business technology transfer grant from the National Science Foundation to continue the development of the novel treatment. The team has raised $440,000 in non-dilutive seed funding and is currently invested in preclinical research and product development in preparation for initial human studies.