Imagine Pharma's Multilayered Path To Market
By Ben Comer, Chief Editor, Life Science Leader
From the looks of its modest open-floor-plan lab in Pittsburgh’s uptown, it might not be obvious to the casual observer that Imagine Pharma and its nine-person full-time workforce are developing multiple pharmaceutical products across three distinct platforms, in addition to a nutritional supplement that could hit the market 12 months from now. Intriguingly, the nutritional supplement contains the same active ingredient — a polypeptide named IMG-1 — that Imagine Pharma is using to create activated islet proliferating cells (AIPCs), which the company is developing as an autologous cell therapy and functional cure for Type 1 diabetes. “I believe we are the only lab in the world that’s able to regenerate islet insulin producing cells from Type 1 diabetics,” says Imagine Pharma founder, chief medical officer, and co-CEO Ngoc Thai, MD, Ph.D. “We can biopsy a Type 1 diabetic pancreas, put that biopsy in culture with IMG-1 to grow the cells out, and then reinfuse them back in.”
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