We're Developing Innovative Drugs for Metabolic Diseases

At Poxel, we are a dynamic biopharmaceutical company developing innovative drugs for metabolic diseases, with a focus on type 2 diabetes. Based in Lyon, France, Poxel was spun out in 2009 from Merck Serono, a global leader in the field of metabolic disorders at that time.

We believe that targeting cellular energy for the treatment of type 2 diabetes is a key focus and we believe that it represents the root of the disease. Imeglimin, our lead program targets mitochondrial dysfunction and PXL770 targets adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK).

Our Core Strengths

  • Leading diabetes and metabolic disease clinical development expertise spanning the EU, US and Japan
  • Developing first-in-class treatments for type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases for large addressable markets with significant unmet medical needs
  • Establishing strategic corporate partnerships
    • Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is our development and commercialization partner for Imeglimin for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in Japan, China and other Asian countries
  • Imeglimin has been studied in 18 clinical trials involving over 1,200 subjects. In the U.S., EU and Japan it met its primary and secondary endpoints in Phase 2 and is Phase 3-ready
  • The Phase 3 TIMES program for Imeglimin in Japan was initiated during the fourth quarter of 2017. Japan offers a unique opportunity for value creation in the second largest single market for type 2 diabetes.
  • Our clinical candidate PXL770 is a novel direct AMPK activator, which it is the most advanced direct AMPK activator in clinical development. PXL770 has the potential to address a wide range of chronic metabolic diseases, including diseases that affect the liver, such as non-alcoholic steatohepatisis (NASH), as well as type 2 diabetes and diabetes-related complications, such as diabetic nephropathy.
  • Imeglimin and PXL770 offer compelling value propositions

Our innovative pipeline of first-in-class products with disease-modifying mechanisms of action offers the potential for safer and more effective therapies for type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Our lead clinical candidate, Imeglimin, has completed Phase 2 clinical development for type 2 diabetes in the United States, Europe and Japan, completing 8 Phase 2 clinical trials. The Phase 3 TIMES program for Imeglimin in Japan is currently underway. 

Our Key Value Drivers

The Japanese/Asian Market

  • Japan/Asia is a key focus for Poxel and is an integral part of our business strategy.
  • Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, a leading pharmaceutical company with an extensive and successful track record in late-stage development and commercialization in Asia, is our strategic partner for Imeglimin in Japan, China, and other Asian countries.
  • For Japan, Poxel and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma are jointly conducting the Phase 3 TIMES program, which will be funded by Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma will commercialize Imeglimin for this market. In China, South Korea, Taiwan and nine other Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma will be solely responsible for the development and commercialization of Imeglimin.
  • Japan represents the second largest single market for type 2 diabetes with approximately $4 billion in annual sales and is expected to grow to $6 billion in 2020.*
  • Asia, in broader terms, is considered the most important geographic location with regards to treating the diabetes pandemic in the future.
  • Our lead product Imeglimin met its primary and key secondary endpoint in the Japan Phase 2b clinical study in 299 patients.
  • We believe that Imeglimin's mechanism of action fits well with the pathophysiology of the disease for Japanese/Asian patients.
  • The Phase 3 TIMES program for Imeglimin in Japan is currently underway.

We anticipate submitting a Japanese New Drug Application (JNDA) for Imeglimin for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in 2020

*Decision Resources, September 2014

The US/EU Market

  • The US/EU offers a ~$32 billion* market opportunity for type 2 diabetes.
  • We continue to conduct preclinical and clinical studies in the US and EU that are designed to strengthen Imeglimin's product profile and scientifically differentiate its mechanism of action from other drugs.
  • Imeglimin is Phase-3 ready in the U.S. and EU.
  • We are seeking a development and commercial partner for the U.S. and EU markets.

*Decision Resources, September 2014

Targeting Type 2 Diabetes Cardiovascular Complications

  • We have the unique opportunity with our programs to treat patients with type 2 diabetes who are at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Imeglimin has been shown in preclinical studies that it improves both endothelial and diastolic dysfunction.
  • We are currently studying Imeglimin in preclinical and clinical studies to show benefits in cardiovascular complications.
  • PXL770 targets the main risks of cardiovascular disease, such as hyperglycemia, high lipids, and weight.


  • Our clinical candidate PXL770 is a direct AMPK activator that is currently in Phase 1 development.
  • Our Phase 1 clinical program is designed to assess safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics.

Discovery Research and Licensing

  • Our licensing agreement with Enyo Pharma is focused on developing an FXR agonist for Hepatitis B. This program is in Phase 1 development by Enyo Pharma.
  • We're positioned to provide an opportunistic approach with our portfolio and leverage our drug development expertise with in-licensing opportunities.

About Type 2 Diabetes

A Multifactorial Chronic Progressing Disease

Type 2 diabetes is one of the world's major health concerns and its incidence is growing rapidly. It is the most common form of diabetes, affecting about 90% of diabetic patients. The disease can result in severe vascular complications that affect large arteries, leading to cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease or peripheral artery thrombosis, and small arteries, damaging the kidneys, retina and nervous system. It can lead to chronic renal failure (50% of cases), vision loss including blindness, and neuropathy, mainly affecting sensitivity in the legs (65% of cases).

A diagram illustrating the progression of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, sometimes referred to as non-insulin-dependent diabetes, is a glucose metabolism disorder characterized by an increase in the blood glucose rate, also known as hyperglycemia. For healthy people, glucose provided by food during a meal is distributed by the blood to the body's tissues that need it. Between meals, the liver produces glucose to maintain normal blood glucose concentrations. Insulin is a pancreatic hormone secreted by the pancreas' beta islets at meal times to permit the glucose uptake into insulin-dependent tissues as well as to slow down the liver's production of glucose between meals, to maintain the correct glucose balance. Type 2 diabetes results from both a decrease in the action of insulin (resistance to insulin) in the target tissues (primarily the liver, muscles and adipose tissue), and a lack of insulin secretion by the pancreas' beta islets in response to glucose (relative insulinopenia).

Type 2 Diabetes Offers a Significant Market Opportunity

  • ~415M people between the ages of 20 and 79 worldwide were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2015
    • It's estimated that ~642M will be diagnosed by 2040*
  • The type 2 diabetes market was worth $37B in 2014 in the top 7 countries
    • It's estimated to reach $71B in 2024**

*IDF Atlas 2015 **, Decision Resources, September 2014

Backed by Years of Experience

Poxel was formed from the spin out of several anti-diabetic drug candidates and a focused group of scientific and drug development leaders from Merck Serono.

Our scientific expertise is based on the understanding of key mechanisms involved in type 2 diabetes and the innovation needed to make an impact on the current standard of care for these patients.

Our management team and Board of Directors have extensive pharmaceutical industry experience spanning the spectrum of drug research and development to commercialization, patient access and life-cycle management.

Management Team

Board of Directors

Scientific Advisory Board

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Interested in learning more about our programs and how we're combatting type 2 diabetes? Get in touch with us.

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