Diapin was founded by Dr. Yuqing (Eugene) Chen, M.D., Ph.D., based on technology disclosed to the University of Michigan from Dr. Chen’s laboratory. Dr. Bruce Markham who assisted in Diapins founding joined the company in 2012 after finishing a term as a "Mentor in Residence" with the University of Michigan Office of Technology Transfer. He now serves as Diapin Therapeutics' President and CEO. Beijing SL Pharmaceuticals LTD (Beijing SL) provided early funding to Diapin Therapeutics (See Investors). In 2016, Diapin added Dr. Charles Bisgaier, a world-renowned dyslipidemia expert, to its Board.
Diapin's intellectual property (IP) is based on a 3 amino acid genus, that created orally active peptides that lowered blood glucose in a type 2 diabetes (T2D) mouse model (Read Article+). This work eventually led to the selection of the DT-109 preclinical lead candidate for further development. In 2018, DT-109 showed efficacy in a murine model of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) (Read Article+) and other dyslipidemias. Based on these findings, DT-109 development mainly focused on NASH although the compound showed anti-diabetic potential. DT-109 also showed its ability to prevent arteriosclerosis in a murine model of the disease (Read Article+). These works of Rom et al., were recognized with the Irvine H. Page Junior Faculty Research Award by the Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, Vascular Biology Council of the American Heart Association in 2022 (Read More+)
In 2014, Diapin in-licensed a new anti-platelet drug, DT-678 (previously known as ClopNPT), from the University of Michigan. DT-678 is an orally available prodrug that is metabolized to the active metabolite of Plavix (clopidogrel). Unlike Plavix, DT-678 activation occurs without the need of liver metabolism. Preclinical studies also indicate a lower bleeding risk than clopidogrel. Clopidogrel has been labelled the “gold-standard” of low bleeding risk among anti-thrombotic drugs. Furthermore, DT-678 activation occurs by reduction of the molecule in the blood. This occurs at high efficiency, leading to near complete conversion to its active form and rapid onset of action. Beijing SL licensed rights for the Chinese market for both DT-678 and DT-109 from Diapin. Diapin retains commercial rights in all other territories.
Ann Arbor's Life Science Ecosystem is vibrant with several mature pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations, and start-ups. The University of Michigan, Wayne State, Michigan State, and Eastern Michigan Universities are in close proximity and create an ideal environment to nurture innovative research and discovery. Diapin has close connections with faculty at both Michigan State and the University of Michigan. Three of the four members of Diapin’s Scientific Advisory Board have faculty or adjunct faculty positions at the University of Michigan.