A remarkable protein that exists naturally in the body is showing great potential as both a treatment for obesity and related conditions as well as helping the body to accept transplanted organs and repair liver damage.
The cell in question is called Cardiotrophin 1 and has been put to the test by researchers at the Centre for Applied Medical Research (CIMA) of the University of Navarra in Spain who publish their results on its use in obesity treatment in the new edition of Cell Metabolism.The university, its own company Digna Biotech and their commercial partners Biotecnol believe that the discovery could be worth hundreds of millions of Euros.
Using mice, the team found that cardiotrophin 1 caused diabetic and obese animals to use more energy and eat less. It also improved the uptake by cells of glucose and made them more reactive to insulin.
Pablo Ortiz, CEO of Digna Biotech said: "Cardiotrophin 1 showed a very interesting effect on fat metabolism which deserves to be explored in a clinical setting. We are ready to recruit healthy volunteers in the Phase I trial before the end of the year. Phase II in liver resection is scheduled for the second quarter of 2012. We are also confident that these new applications and the progress on the clinical development will allow us to forge partnerships with other biopharmaceutical companies to reach the patients as soon as possible".
Pedro de Noronha Pissarra, CEO of Biotecnol, added: "expanding the use of such a promising molecule to other fields of use, where unmet needs exist, will build additional value to the current work. Its clear from the current findings on the mechanism of action of Cardiotrophin 1 in fat metabolism, that clinical work should be pursued and potentially new partnerships in order to expand such work can now be equated".
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