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Southfield Firm Gets Federal Grant To Develop Diabetes Drugs

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SOUTHFIELD — Housey Pharmaceutical Research Laboratories LLC said Monday it had been awarded a three-year Small Business Innovation Research Phase 2 continuation grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for its work toward development of anti-diabetic medicines for the treatment of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Previously, with support also provided in part by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Housey has been awarded both phase 1 and 2 SBIR grants for earlier aspects of this project.

“This funding will allow us to advance the program substantially, with the goal by the end of the funding period of having one or two new clinical candidate compounds appropriate for entering into formal preclinical testing in anticipation of approved clinical trials in the future,” said Gerard Housey, M.D. president and CEO of the Southfield-based company. “It will also provide funding for new jobs in Michigan as we anticipate the hiring of additional scientists in our Southfield, Michigan laboratories.”

Diabetes is a chronic, debilitating disease affecting every organ system.  There are two major types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.  Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food.  Type 1 diabetes usually strikes in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood, but lasts a lifetime. People with type 1 diabetes must take multiple injections of insulin daily or continuous infusion of insulin through a pump just to survive.  Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which a person’s body still produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively.  Type 2 is usually diagnosed in adulthood and does not always require insulin injections.  Taking insulin does not cure any type of diabetes nor prevent the possibility of its eventual and devastating effects: kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputation, heart attack, and stroke.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases conducts and supports research on many of the most serious diseases affecting public health. Its research is organized into 4 divisions: Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases; Digestive Diseases and Nutrition; Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases; and Extramural Activities.  The Institute supports basic and clinical research through investigator-initiated grants, program project and center grants, and career development and training awards. The Institute also supports research and development projects and large-scale clinical trials through contracts.  For more information visit http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/.

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