Sat, Apr 18, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Health institute develops new diabetes treatment

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The National Health Research Institute (NHRI) yesterday unveiled a compound for treating diabetes, saying it hoped the new medicine would be available for patients before 2017.

NHRI officials unveiled the compound, known as “DBPR108,” at a press conference yesterday afternoon.

NHRI Division of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Research director Chao Yu-sheng (趙宇生) said that six local pharmaceutical companies would co-manufacture the compound and the Cabinet’s national development fund would support it.

Taipei Veterans General Hospital, meanwhile, will be in charge of the new compound’s trials to prove that it is safe for use by humans. The compound, once approved for use, will become the first “made in Taiwan” drug for diabetes.


“We are now at ‘Phase I’ of the trials of the medicine. There are four phases to the trials before the new compound can be authorized as a qualified diabetes medicine by the Department of Health in the future,” Chao said.

Chao said that trial stages for the treatment would cost approximately NT$200 million (US$6 million) and 85 percent of the cost would be covered by the Cabinet’s national development fund, while the six local pharmaceutical manufacturers would share the rest of the cost.


The new compound, Chao said, would help patients produce more insulin. Patients suffer side effects such as skin ailments from currently available diabetes drugs. However, Chao said that such problems have been countered by the new compound.

Chen Cheng (陳正), the general manager of Genovate Biotechnology (健亞生物科技), one of the six local pharmaceutical manufacturers, said he was very optimistic about the new compound.

“I predict that this new compound will prove very profitable for us after it becomes an available drug for diabetes,” he said.

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