Written by: Kayte Spillman
Cortado Ventures recently announced a major investment in Oklahoma City-founded Sensulin, a biopharmaceutical company that is developing a glucose-responsive insulin for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
“As a fellow Sooner and board member of the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, I am proud to mark this milestone of a local venture capital firm backing a homegrown biotech company,” Sensulin CEO Mike Moradi said. “Sensulin pioneered a once-a-day treatment for Type 1 Diabetes that is approaching trials and initial designations from the FDA. This could quickly lead to a pathway for expedited reviews and approvals from the FDA, as a focus on bringing a new therapy to market for patients who can find a more effective treatment for their serious medical condition.”
Sensulin develops the first-in-its-class technology for Stimulus-Responsive Drug Delivery, he said. It is focused on Glucose-Responsive Insulin (GRI) for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) — GRI is sometimes called “smart insulin” because it is so much easier than traditional glucose products. GRI does not require external measurement or manipulation, and it is able to monitor blood-glucose levels and automatically release insulin at the very precise rate that patients’ bodies demand.
“Sensulin may eliminate the need for separate basal and mealtime insulin,” Moradi said. “With Sensulin, people with diabetes can have a normal life.”
The global insulin market is forecasted to reach $35 billion by 2027, according to multiple reports. Approximately 1.6 million Americans have Type 1 Diabetes, with an additional 64,000 people newly diagnosed each year.
In the past two years, two companies that make glucose-responsive insulin sold for $800 million and $1 billion before either of them started clinical trials (Sensulin plans to finalize its clinical candidates in 2022).
“The opportunity is exciting, and even more exciting that it all started right here, in Oklahoma City,” he said. “With resources like the Innovation District, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, and the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center — and now with funding from OKC-based Cortado Ventures — it is no surprise to find a success story like Sensulin’s starting in Oklahoma City.”