Obesity is the excessive accumulation of body fat, which typically leads to adverse health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease; insulin resistance; diabetes; inflammation; and liver disorder. Obesity has reached global epidemic proportions and the World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million adults are obese worldwide. Expenditures for prescription medicines and surgeries to treat obesity are estimated to be USD 4 billion annually in the US alone. Current therapies for obesity are limited by modest and only short-term efficacy and sometimes significant side-effects. Consequently, there is a continuing market opportunity for a safe obesity therapy with long-term efficacy.
Verva Fat Blockers
Verva is advancing two obesity technologies that prevent de novo fat cell formation. Verva’s Fat Blockers are expected to significantly decrease fat cell number, leading to an improved endocrine profile, reduced appetite, and more sustainable long-term weight loss than is attainable by currently-marketed obesity therapies such as appetite suppressants and fat absorption inhibitors. Since Verva Fat Blockers do not require action in the brain, our products should also avoid some of the side-effects observed with other developmental obesity treatments.
Verva’s Fat Blocker programs are at the preclinical proof-of-concept stage. Compounds that act at Verva targets were found to reduce body fat and body weight in obese mice and prevented fat and weight gain in lean mice placed on a high-fat diet. As our Fat Blocker programs advance, Verva has the opportunity to explore multiple therapeutic indications for our products, including weight and fat loss in obesity; prevention of weight and fat re-gain after diet or surgery; adjuvant therapy to prevent drug-induced weight gain (as observed with some anti-diabetic and schizophrenia medicines); and prevention and reversal of diabetes. Multiple potential development pathways significantly decrease the development risk and increase the potential value of Verva Fat Blocker products.