ARTICLE | Product Development

Valuing Array's Sensitive Side

December 21, 2009 8:00 AM UTC

Array BioPharma Inc.'s glucokinase activators are not the most advanced molecules in the class, but the biotech says they may have a competitive advantage in terms of safety due to their glucose sensitivity. Amgen Inc. bought into the concept last week, agreeing to pay $60 million up front for rights to the compounds, which give the big biotech a third target that could be synergistic with its other diabetes candidates.

Glucokinase is an attractive target for diabetes treatments because the enzyme is present in both the pancreas and the liver, where it functions in two distinct, yet complementary ways to regulate glucose homeostasis. The enzyme becomes activated in response to elevated levels of glucose. In the pancreas, activated glucokinase stimulates insulin secretion. In the liver, it increases glucose metabolism...