Phytomedical gains $10m for diabetes, cachexia research

Related tags Adipose tissue

Canadian biopharmaceutical company PhytoMedical has entered into an
agreement with Fusion Capital Fund II to raise up to $10 million in
equity financing for its research programs, including
investigations into cinnamon compounds, writes Jess

PhytoMedical, which exists to identify, develop and commercialize plant-derived nutraceutical and pharmaceutical compounds, has said that the funding will give a boost to its efforts in the fields of diabetes and cachexia care.

The agreement involves Fusion Capital purchasing up to $10 million of newly issued company stock in installments of $400,000 a month over 25 months, based on the market price of the common stock at the time of purchase.

"Now our management team can focus on PhytoMedical's core research activities, expanding and accelerating the scope of our science and working towards developing clinically approved products for two of the most devastating disease states in America,"​ said Phytomedical Technologies director Harmel Rayat.

Currently the company is investigating the synthesis of the active components found in cinnamon, and characterizing their benefits in cell cultures systems, animals and, finally, in humans.

A study published in Diabetes Care​ in 2003 (26:3215-3218, 2003) showed that a quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon taken twice a day by type-2 diabetes sufferers lowers blood sugar by an average of 18 to 29 percent, triglycerides by 23 to 30 percent, LDL cholesterol by 7 to 27 percent and total cholesterol by 12 to 26 percent. The beneficial effects were seen to last for at least 20 days.

More than 18 million Americans suffer from diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association, costing the health care system over $132 billion a year. This figure is set to rise as the prevalence of the disease, which can lead to renal disease, heart disease, blindness and amputations, is expected to climb to 30 million by 2030.

Another key area of research for PhytoMedical involves BDC-03, a proprietory plant-derived compound that has been shown to increase lean muscle mass, reduce body fat percentage and lower cholesterol.

Whilst this compound could be of benefit for overweight and obese individuals, the company says it could help save the lives of people with cachexia, a wasting disease that causes a dramatic loss of fatty tissue, muscle tissue and bone and eventually affects the major organs, causing death.

Cachexia affects around 25 percent of AIDS patients and 90 percent of advanced cancer patients.

Related topics Blood sugar management

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