Columbia Enters into Collaboration with Takeda to Identify Diabetes Therapy

Agreement will explore new mechanisms of creating diabetes drugs using gut cells

Type 2 diabetes affects more than 300 million people worldwide and is caused by defects of insulin action (insulin resistance) and insulin production. The discovery of new drugs to maintain glucose homeostasis would have beneficial impact on the long-term health outcomes of diabetics and relieve a major burden from the world’s health care systems.

A new research collaboration has been created between Domenico Accili, MD, the Russell Berrie Foundation Professor of Diabetes and director of the Columbia University Diabetes Research Center, and the New Frontier Science group at Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. The collaboration will support Dr. Accili’s studies that aim to understand the mechanisms underlying the generation of gut endocrine cells. The research will seek to develop new methods to isolate and characterize specific endocrine cell types and may lead to the development of innovative therapeutic approaches for the treatment of patients with diabetes.

Takeda’s New Frontier Science is a new group that focuses on finding, developing, and integrating foundational technologies into Takeda’s research and development process. The group engages entrepreneurial scientists in collaborative partnerships to rapidly advance promising laboratory discoveries toward clinical application. Collaborations can include direct funding of research, access to drug discovery platforms, and collaborations with scientists and engineers within Takeda. The partnerships focus on accelerating novel science, developing new technologies, and sharing intellectual access rather than on securing intellectual property rights.

Of the hundreds of millions of individuals affected by diabetes worldwide, 30 million are Americans who consume more than $100 billion in health care costs every year. “The need for new treatments for diabetes is clear, and we hope our partnership with Takeda will prove to be of benefit to everyone affected with this disease,” says Dr. Accili.

Gordon Wong, PhD, director of the New Frontier Science group, says the group was established to find and support scientists conceiving ground-breaking life science technologies and nurture the translation of those technologies from concept to reality. “We are focused on emerging innovative scientists in academic medical centers, research institutions, incubators, and nascent companies around the world, and Dr. Accili’s work shows great promise for helping patients with diabetes,” says Dr. Wong.