DiObex, a San Francisco biopharmaceutical company focused on treatments of metabolic diseases, said it has raised $24 million in a second round of financing.

The round was led by Inventages Venture Capital (Switzerland). Also joining the round are new investors Mitsui Ventures (Japan) and Pac-Link BioVentures (Taiwan), together with Series A investors Domain Associates, Pequot Ventures and Sofinnova Ventures, the company said.

The funds raised will be dedicated to the progression of DiObex’s two lead drug candidates through the completion of the second phase of clinical trials.

From the statement:

DIO-901 (Reduction of hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetes)
Patients with type 1 diabetes can achieve ADA or WHO glycemic goals through intensification of their insulin regimens. However, because of the very real risk and fear of hypoglycemia which invariably results from insulin intensification, few patients with type 1 diabetes ever accomplish the desired level of glycemic control. Very Low Dose (VLD) Glucagon will facilitate intensification while mitigating the attendant risk of hypoglycemia. DiObex has completed three pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic dose ranging studies in 37 patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus which have demonstrated that VLD Glucagon can reduce or prevent insulin-induced hypoglycemia in these patients. In addition, all doses tested (using infusion pumps) were very well tolerated. Preclinical testing of novel extended release (ER) formulations for subcutaneous injection is well underway. Human studies using ER are scheduled to commence in late 2007.

DIO-902 (Cortisol Synthesis Inhibitor for type 2 diabetes)
Excessive cortisol activity may play an important role in the causation of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, a cluster of co-morbidities commonly associated with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. In the growing number of patients with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, co-morbidities such as hypertension and abnormal lipoprotein levels dramatically increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. DiObex has completed phase 2a clinical trials and will initiate a 16-week phase 2b dose-ranging study in patients with type 2 diabetes by mid-2007 (see press release of March 27, 2007).