Evotec AG announced an auspicious step in research from Harvard University. The findings are published in a scientific article by Prof. Doug Melton, University professor at Harvard University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator and his post doc Peng Yi in the journal Cell. Doug Melton is the academic key collaborator of CureBeta, a strategic alliance between Harvard University, Evotec and Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the field of beta cell regeneration.
In the article, available as of 25 April 2013 in the online edition of Cell ,Doug Melton, who is also the co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and his post doc Peng Yi release the discovery of the new hormone betatrophin that controls beta cell proliferation. All intellectual property associated with these findings have been licensed to Evotec in March 2011 and subsequently sublicensed to Janssen Pharmaceuticals within the CureBeta collaboration announced in July 2012.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “Restoring beta cell mass and function is the most promising approach to slow down or reverse disease progression in diabetic patients. The laboratory of Doug Melton has made a series of important contributions to this beta field in particular demonstrating that beta cell proliferation is a key mechanism that controls beta cell mass. His latest publication describes a previously underappreciated capacity of beta cells to proliferate in response to a pharmacological trigger and the identification of a novel physiological mediator, betatrophin.”