Promising obesity therapy receives follow-on funding


Brisbane-based Adipogen Pty Ltd has raised a further $2.25 million to support the development of a novel treatment for obesity.

The investment was led by the Queensland Biocapital Funds (QBF) and supported by Uniseed, one of the company's original investors.

Adipogen was established by Uniquest from research work carried out in The University of Queensland and initially funded by Uniseed and the Queensland Government's technology fund BioStart. It has also received support of the Federal Government's Biotechnology Innovation Fund (BIF) and the Queensland Government's Innovation Start-Up Scheme (ISUS).

During this time the company identified a novel target (fibroblast growth factor-1 or FGF-1) for the treatment of obesity. This growth factor is responsible for the formation of the cells (apidocytes) that store fat, and Adipogen's initial studies have indicated that drugs that inhibit this growth factor could be used to treat obesity.

Adipogen's Chairman Dr Peter Devine said the company was extremely pleased to be partnering with QBF.

"Their strong links into the U.S. and technical expertise of their team and Scientific Advisory Board will be a great asset in taking Adipogen to its next stage of development. With this round of funding we aim to develop a lead drug to take into clinical trials," he said.

"Current therapies based on appetite suppression and the reduction of fat absorption have had limited success in treating the disease. Unlike these, Adipogen aims to develop the first drugs that actually target the underlying cause of obesity (fat cell formation), rather than the symptoms."

QBF CEO Mr Neill Colledge said: "QBF's investment is an endorsement of the calibre of work undertaken by Professor John Prins and his outstanding scientific team at the Centre for Diabetes and Endocrine Research.

"QBF remains committed to supporting novel Australian technologies and eagerly anticipates commercialisation of Adipogen's anti obesity research," Mr Colledge said.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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