Phenomix, Former Highflying Diabetes Drugmaker, Shuts Down After Forest Labs Walks

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that the price tag for developing the new Phenomix treatment has roughly doubled, making it too expensive for venture capitalists to continue to support it, Lord says.

“The U.S. market is crowded in the DPP4 space,” Lord says. “Only a few pharmaceutical companies are candidates for licensing or acquiring dutogliptin, and they themselves have DPP4 programs and can really only develop one at a time.”

The diabetes treatment may still be sold regionally in countries with less competition from other DPP4 inhibitors and less difficult regulatory hurdles, like China, Korea, and Taiwan, Lord says. Phenomix is also looking to sell off a program to develop an experimental hepatitis C drug, she says.

Phenomix filed paperwork with the Securities & Exchange Commission to go public back in January 2008, but never pulled the trigger as markets soured later in the year. The company’s largest shareholders at the time of the proposed IPO were JP Morgan (18 percent), Nomura Phase4 Ventures (15.8 percent), Delphi Funds (11.1 percent), Alta Partners (9.8 percent), Sofinnova Ventures (9.8 percent), and Swiss drug giant Novartis (9.4 percent).

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