Oklahoma City biotech investor Cortado Ventures invests in locally founded Sensulin
Home of the Innovation District, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, and Harold Hamm Diabetes Center is ideal for this homegrown investment
Thank you to Dr. Carol Curtis for expert advisory and research help.
At Cortado Ventures we are proud to announce closing a major investment in Oklahoma City founded Sensulin. Led by University of Oklahoma graduate Mike Moradi, Sensulin is a biopharmaceutical company that is developing a glucose-responsive insulin for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. As a fellow Sooner and board member of the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, I am proud to mark this milestone of a local venture capital firm backing a homegrown biotech company.
Sensulin has pioneered a once-a-day treatment for Type 1 Diabetes that is approaching trials and initial designations from the FDA. This could quickly lead to a pathway for expedited reviews and approvals from the FDA, as a focus on bringing a new therapy to market for patients who can find a more effective treatment for their serious medical condition.
Sensulin develops the first-in-its-class technology for Stimulus-Responsive Drug Delivery. It is focused on Glucose-Responsive Insulin (GRI) for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)—GRI is sometimes called “smart insulin” because it is so much easier than traditional glucose products. GRI does not require external measurement or manipulation, and is able to monitor blood-glucose levels and automatically release insulin at the very precise rate that patients’ bodies demand. Sensulin may eliminate the need for separate basal and meal time insulin. With Sensulin, people with diabetes can have a normal life.
Sensulin’s Agglomerated Vesicle Technology (AVT) has been carefully engineered to be a tool for drug delivery. It responds to the body’s need throughout the day, which can vary widely between meals. The main development program has been focused on T1D and T2D, but it can be used for other diseases too.
The global insulin market is forecasted to reach $35 billion by 2027.¹ Approximately 1.6 million Americans have Type 1 Diabetes, with an additional 64,000 people newly diagnosed each year. With fewer than 30% of T1D patients managing their blood sugar levels with commercially available insulin, there is significant unmet need and opportunity for Sensulin within this patient population.²
As a serial entrepreneur, CEO Mike Moradi knows how to start successful new businesses, and has a strong background in nanotechnology and biotechnology.
In the past two years, two companies that make glucose-responsive insulin sold for $800 million and $1 billion before either of them started clinical trials (Sensulin plans to finalize its clinical candidates in 2022). The market is very interested in new treatments for this type of disease.
The opportunity is exciting, and even more exciting that it all started right here, in Oklahoma City. With resources like the Innovation District, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, and the Harold Hamm Diabeters Center — and now with funding from OKC based Cortado Ventures — it is no surprise to find a success story like Sensulin’s starting in Oklahoma City.
Mike Moradi is CEO of Sensulin and University of Oklahoma graduate, and a venture partner to Cortado Ventures
Nathaniel Harding is an OU alumnus and managing partner of OKC-based Cortado Ventures, and board member for the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center
Sensulin has previously been covered in the following outlets:
- Forbes: Having Diabetes is No Longer Going to be a Life Sentence
- World Economic Forum: 5 Predictions for What Life Will Be Like in 2030
- Business Insider: These Americans are changing the world — and they’re all under 40
 Reports and Data, Insulin market to reach USD 35.74 billion by 2027 (2020). Available from: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/01/13/1969697/0/en/Insulin-Market-To-Reach-USD-35-74-Billion-By-2027-Reports-And-Data.html
 JDRF, Type 1 Diabetes (2020). Available from: https://www.jdrf.org/t1d-resources/about/facts/