New York, USA and Toronto, Canada — As Global Biotech Week begins in more than 20 countries, JDRF, the leading organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, is pleased to announce that it will contribute funding to Canada’s Zucara Therapeutics Inc., a pre-clinical life sciences company advancing a novel therapeutic approach to prevent hypoglycemia in patients with diabetes.

This funding builds on JDRF’s previous support of the work of Dr. Michael Riddell of York University and Dr. Richard Liggins of The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), founding scientists behind Zucara. With this new investment Zucara will be in a position to advance its lead clinical drug candidate through IND-enabling studies, readying it for clinical testing beginning in 2019.

The Zucara technology is aimed at creating the first treatment to prevent dangerous low blood sugar by restoring the body’s ability to counter-regulate hypoglycemia. This approach will reduce the likelihood of insulin therapy to cause hypoglycemia without affecting its efficacy. The immediate patient benefits would include the reduced occurrence of hypoglycemia and its associated acute symptoms and effects. This in turn would allow those with T1D to better regulate their blood sugar levels with insulin, resulting in better overall health outcomes in the long term.

Richard Liggins, Ph.D., Zucara Therapeutics’ chief scientific officer and principal investigator for the JDRF funding remarked, “The initial support provided by JDRF allowed us to establish the proof-of-principle for the technology, and now this new investment by JDRF will allow this innovation to be further advanced toward commercialization and patient use. By working with a leading partner like JDRF, Zucara is poised to change the lives of diabetes patients around the world.”

“JDRF is committed to preventing hypoglycemia, which is a leading danger to the health of people with type 1 diabetes and the main barrier to achieving glucose control. Zucara has successfully shown proof-of-principle in animal models of diabetes, and JDRF is proud to support preclinical studies of its drug candidate to potentially prevent hypoglycemia and improve the quality of life for millions of people with T1D,” said Marlon Pragnell, Ph.D., JDRF senior scientist, Research.

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About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF.

About Zucara Therapeutics Inc.
Zucara Therapeutics, a spin-off of The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) and MaRS Innovation (MI), is developing the first drug therapy to prevent hypoglycemia in people with diabetes. The Company’s first-in-class therapeutic is aimed at inhibiting a hormone in the pancreas called somatostatin, which does not function properly in Type 1 diabetes. Preventing hypoglycemia will dramatically change diabetes disease management, improving both patient health and quality of life. 

About Global Biotech Week
The purpose of Global Biotech Week is to raise awareness of the industry and its global potential among policymakers, policy influencers and the general public more broadly.  What began in 2003 as a modest string of advocacy and awareness events across Canada gained traction and snowballed into EuropaBio establishing their own annual week of events in 2013. Today, whether in United States, Europe, Australia, Canada or elsewhere, biotech innovation is becoming increasingly central to the global competitiveness of the industries and sectors that form the economic foundation of economies. #GBW2017


For additional information, please contact:
Kristy Evans
Manager, Public Relations & Communications
Direct: 212-859-7877

Julia White
Senior Manager, Communications
CDRD / Zucara Therapeutics
Direct: 604-827-1226