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Alba Therapeutics clears safety hurdle with diabetes treatment

Baltimore Business Journal - September 5, 2007 by Sue Schultz, Staff

Alba Therapeutics, a Baltimore-based biotechnology firm, said Wednesday it cleared its first government hurdle in testing a new drug to treat diabetes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined the company's main drug candidate, AT-1001, is safe to begin Phase II testing in patients with diabetes. Alba was initially developing the drug to treat autoimmune gastrointestinal diseases such as Celiac and Crohn's disease. However, the company is also studying its impacts on other autoimmune conditions, including Type 1 diabetes. In the drug's second phase of testing, Alba Therapeutics will have to show the potential effectiveness of the drug's impact on diabetes, an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks insulin-producing cells made by the pancreas. The company will launch its Phase II study in 2008.