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 Many commercial drugs that target such genes have been withdrawn from the market on accounts of lack of efficacy, lack of specificity, and/or toxicity.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 phenotype.
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 route.
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 Génopôle® 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 of energy.
Genopole® 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. http://www.genopole.fr/?lang=en
SOURCE ObeTherapy Biotechnology