(7-Sep-2022) By Lee Landenberger – Akston Biosciences Corp. emerged from a successful small company that was sold to a pharma major. For Todd Zion, that’s a back-to-basics move that suits him just fine. Zion co-founded Smartcells Inc. in 2003 with technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company went on to develop the once-daily injectable self-regulating insulin product, Smartinsulin, and sold it to Merck & Co. in what was at the time one of the largest preclinical pharmaceutical acquisitions ever.