ObeTherapy Announces the Publication of Results Obtained with one of its Lead Compounds on a New Target for the Treatment of Obesity and Type II Diabetes
PARIS, December 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
ObeTherapy, a company focusing on the treatment of obesity and type II diabetes,
announces the publication of results that validate a new therapeutic target associated
with “starvation” human phenotype and a novel small-molecule candidate for the treatment
of obesity and type II diabetes,
The article, entitled: Enteropeptidase: a gene associated with a starvation human
phenotype and a novel target for obesity treatment,
http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0049612, Numerous genes associated with
obesity have been targeted over the years to treat such a condition. However, none of
these has provided an effective treatment for either obesity or type II diabetes. Many
commercial drugs that target such genes have been withdrawn from the market on accounts of
lack of efficacy, lack of specificity, and/or toxicity. It is therefore essential to
identify new gene targets that are specific, non-redundant and associated to lean
Research at ObeTherapy aims to identify genes that are implicated in a “lean” human
phenotype by addressing the following questions: Are there any genetic diseases that
produce a “lean phenotype”? If so, is such a condition dependent upon a single gene (i.e.,
is it a monogenic disease)? Is such a gene tissue-specific? Is it redundant?
Congenital enteropeptidase deficiency is an extremely rare pathology that satisfies
the foregoing criteria. Patients suffering from such a condition can eat ad libitum
without gaining weight; indeed, if left untreated, they will lose weight and ultimately
starve (starvation phenotype). Thus, partial inhibition of enteropeptidase with an
approriate drug should allow obese patients to nourish themselves normally, yet assimilate
only a fraction of the total energy consumed during a meal. These patients would thus
retain the pleasure of eating while losing weight, greatly facilitating the changes in
personal habits that may be required for a long-term solution to their condition.
The CEO and founder of the Company, Dr. Itzik Harosh, explained that enteropeptidase
is a peripheral enzyme localized on the epithelial surface of the duodenum. This
constitutes a major advantage over a systemic target, in that an inhibitor needs not be
absorbed to express its activity, minimizing the probability of toxicity and side effects.
This new approach of identification new targets based on “lean or starvation phenotype”
should open new avenues in obesity and diabetes drug discovery.
A novel, orally administered enteropeptidase inhibitor shows very promising results in
vivo. This compound is a pseudopeptide with negligible bioavailability. Furthermore, if
injected directly in the bloodstream, it is destroyed and cleared within minutes. Few, if
any, side effects are thus anticipated.
Professor Marco A. Ciufolini, of the University of British Columbia at Vancouver, and
a consultant in synthetic chemistry for Obetherapy, indicated that the inhibitor in
question can be manufactured on large scale after only minor modifications of the current
Dr. Harosh declared that these results should promote the development of the company
and assist ObeTherapy in establishing new collaborations and fund raising.
Obetherapy Biotechnology is a company specializing in the research and development of
new drugs for the treatment of obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and type II diabetes. It is
localized on the Genopole(R) campus, in Evry, France. Unlike its competitors, who
concentrate on the genetic characterization of obesity, ObeTherapy follows an innovative
approach that centers on the analysis of individuals with a “lean” phenotype. The Company
is especially interested in the study of patients suffering from rare monogenic diseases
characterized by a deficiency in the absorption fats and proteins, which are major sourses
Genopole(R) French biopark dedicated to research in genetics and biotech for
healthcare and the environment. It brings together 20 academic laboratories, 73 biotech
companies, 18 shared-use technology platforms and university teaching facilities. The
biopark’s objectives are to promote research in genomics, post-genomics & related
sciences, transfer technology to industry, develop high-level life science teaching &
training and foster the creation and growth of biotech companies.
SOURCE ObeTherapy Biotechnology