Phaim Pharma: Driving progress in type 1 diabetes treatment

Dr Nara Daubeney Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Phaim Pharma.png

Phaim Pharma is a biotech company laser-focused on developing first-and-best-in-class therapies for autoimmune diseases, with a lead focus on type 1 diabetes (T1D). For people with T1D, lifelong insulin injections remain the standard of care, despite this therapy being over 100 years old.  

On this World Diabetes Day, Dr. Nara Daubeney, Cofounder and Chief Operating Officer at Phaim Pharma, reflects on the many advancements in the field to date and how the needle is finally moving in this thus far overlooked condition. 

What are some of the priorities that you’re currently working on? 

We are leveraging our platform AIM (antigenic immunomodulation) therapy approach to help all those affected by autoimmune disease in general and type 1 diabetes in particular.  We are looking to start our first in man study in 2024 and this will provide pivotal data in this area of therapy.  It is hoped that AIM therapy will demonstrate disease modifying traits, such that the autoimmune destruction responsible for loss of insulin making cells is arrested.  

Tell us more about the unique approach of Antigenic Immunomodulation (AIM) and how it differs from traditional treatments for T1DM. 

Most treatments for T1DM are focused on disease management, that is to say trying to control your blood sugar.  Huge leaps have been made in better managing this condition by continuous or loop monitoring. Our approach takes us back to the fundamental causes of T1D and AIM therapy looks to stop and reverse that.  The hope is that by stopping this destruction, we are able to restore natural self-tolerance and keep a person’s normal insulin making capacity intact.  

The concept of a diagnostic kit for predicting T1DM is intriguing. How does it work, and what are the implications for early intervention and treatment? 

Using the concept of natural self-tolerance, your body's innate ability to recognise itself and to prevent your immune system from attacking itself, we look at your cells in your body to understand where this response is at any point in time.  By monitoring you over the course of months and potentially years, we can determine whether you are likely to be attacking your insulin making cells and if so, how fast that destruction may be.  By doing so, we are opening the window up to treatment and prevention, which we are extremely excited about.  

What role does collaboration play in advancing your research and therapy development for T1DM? 

Collaboration is key in getting innovation to patients.  We are working with charity groups and patient advocates to further this cause.  Watch this space! 

Looking ahead, what are the next steps and future goals for Phaim Pharma? 

We are enormously excited about 2024 and the potential to have our therapy used to reverse the autoimmune destruction in T1DM patients. Our calling is to change the narrative and course of T1D and to be truly disruptive in this field.  

What do you find most beneficial about being a member of BIA?  

I cannot emphasise enough how wonderful the BIA has been in its work and advocacy in this sector.  It brings people together, allows for exchange of ideas and provides invaluable support to the UK biotech ecosystem.  To all the marvellous BIA team, thank you for all you do! 


More news and updates 

The UK's genomics sector: Poised for continued growth and impact

Genomics has become an integral part of the UK's healthcare system, revolutionising patient care and driving innovation within both small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large pharmaceutical companies. Our new report, Genomics nation 2023, highlights the profound impact of genomics on the UK's life sciences sector and public health system.

CEO Update - 4 December 2023

UK Biobank is a British success story that puts us at the heart of a key global technology of this century. Last week, UK Biobank published the world’s largest collection of full human genomes. Set up 20 years ago, the charity UK Biobank recruited half a million altruistic volunteers to create the world’s most comprehensive source of health data.

bioProcessUK 2023: Honouring excellence, unveiling future leaders 

In a symphony of innovation and camaraderie, the 20th anniversary bioProcessUK conference swept through Brighton, creating an unforgettable experience for the life sciences and biotech community.

CEO Update - 27 November 2023

Last week felt like an important milestone for the UK life science sector. As I sat in the Life Science Council in No 10 Downing Street with new Government Ministers, leaders of public institutions like the MHRA and global CEOs, I reflected that no other country in the world is putting together a working collaborative life science group like this.

bioProcessUK: The role of candidate screening and feasibility studies

Ian Goodwin, Director of CMC Program Design in Advanced Therapies (covering Cell and Gene Therapy services) at FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies explores the benefits of candidate and feasibility studies to AAV production.

Autumn Statement 2023 analysis

The Chancellor has delivered a comprehensive package of investment and support for the UK life sciences industry in his Autumn Statement. In this blog, Dr Martin Turner, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at BIA shares his reflections on key announcements.

Member spotlight: meet the Bio-Based and Biodegradable Industries Association

The Bio-Based and Biodegradable Industries Association (BBIA) and The BioIndustry Association (BIA) enter a mutual membership agreement to strengthen collaboration and support each other's work and member communities.

Bioprocessing: Unraveling the future by examining the past

Over the past two decades, the landscape of biopharmaceuticals in the UK has undergone a significant transformation.

CEO Update - 20 November 2023

London Life Sciences Week last week had an amazing buzz. I think there were more Americans in life science over for one week than I’ve ever experienced – centred on the Jefferies Healthcare Conference. At the same time, London was also full of Europeans at events like the Scrip Awards, where Jeremy Levin received the Lifetime Achievement Award and gave an impactful speech. The connectivity was immense - with a massive range of events that were really vibrant, diverse and inclusive.

London Life Sciences Week: connecting the global biotech community

London Life Sciences Week united the global biotech community for a dynamic week of networking and dealmaking. The BIA representatives were out and about throughout the week, networking with members and stakeholders. In this blog, Steve Bates OBE, CEO of BioIndustry Association, summarises insights based on the BIA team's first-hand experience.


More within