Novapeutics is one of 50 companies that got its commercial start from the University of Pennsylvania’s UPstart program. Their bold mission is to cure Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). T2D is an increasingly common health concern for many Americans. By 2050, 1 in 3 Americans will suffer from T2D if trends continue. In 2007 alone, the disease cost Americans $174 billion. Frank Leu of Novapeutics is working at The Pennovation Works to find a cure for the disease, while easing its impact on individuals.
Insulin, the hormone that is underproduced in diabetics, is produced in the pancreas. Novapeutics’ patent-pending approach seeks to increase the number of functional pancreatic cells while reducing the stress in those same cells.
Their approach seeks to regenerate cells in order to maximize endogenous insulin output. Their proposed cure has been regarded favorably, exemplified with winning the Small Business Innovative Research Phase 1 award grant from NIH/ NIDDK and receiving the TechConnect Innovation award in 2013.