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Drs. Anath Shalev and Kathy NugentPhoto credit: Amy Jones

The Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship recognized UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center (UCDC) Director Anath Shalev, M.D., through the EntrepreHER award for Shalev’s leadership in founding a new diabetes startup headquartered in Birmingham, AL.

Shalev, who has led the UCDC for 12 years, has a cumulative three decades of experience in diabetes research, islet biology and discovering curative therapies for diabetes. Shalev received the EntrepreHer award for her new startup, TIXiMED, a company focused on developing oral medications for type 1 diabetes.

TIXiMED holds an exclusive license and the underlying intellectual property to commercialize a novel small molecule TXNIP inhibitor (TIX100). The novel, non-toxic small molecule, given orally, protects against models of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes as well as fatty liver disease. TIXiMED’s goal is to see the drug through proof of safety and initial efficacy clinical trials.

“One of the repeatedly expressed challenges of those with diabetes is to be completely dependent on daily injection shots of insulin or insulin pumps. Our team is ultimately aiming to provide an additional oral medication to limit the need for insulin and help manage glucose control and improve quality of life,” said Shalev.

Shalev’s experience leading a fully-outfitted diabetes research lab and center at UAB has uniquely prepared her for her role as TIXiMED’s founder and chief scientific officer.

“Understanding the role of key biological elements in blood sugar regulation has opened the door for us to develop targeted, curative therapies for diabetes,” said Shalev. “The work that our lab–and other labs within the UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center–have accomplished brings us one step closer to reliable oral medications for treating Type 1 diabetes.”