Ember Therapeutics, Inc., a company harnessing breakthroughs in brown fat biology and insulin sensitization to revolutionize the treatment of metabolic disease, today announced the completion of an agreement with the Joslin Diabetes Center to exclusively license intellectual property covering bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP7), which has been shown to play a role in the regulation of brown fat development. Research on this BMP7 technology was led by Yu-Hua Tseng, Ph.D., Aaron Cypess, M.D., Ph.D., and C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., of Harvard Medical School and the Joslin Diabetes Center, and is detailed in a key 2008 Nature paper outlining the important role of BMP7 in promoting brown fat precursor cells. Dr. Kahn is also a scientific co-founder of Ember.
“We are continuing to build our portfolio of key brown fat intellectual property, and this BMP7 technology discovered by one of our co-founders is an important and strategic addition”
"We are continuing to build our portfolio of key brown fat intellectual property, and this BMP7 technology discovered by one of our co-founders is an important and strategic addition," said Louis Tartaglia, Ph.D., president and interim chief executive officer of Ember and partner at Third Rock Ventures, LLC. "We are pleased to expand our brown fat pipeline and further pursue our research into BMP7."
Unlike white fat, which stores energy, brown fat burns off caloric energy. While humans are born with large amounts of brown fat, adults lose most of these brown fat stores to maximize metabolic efficiency and enable them to survive when food is not plentiful. However, in today's abundant food environment, this metabolic efficiency is actually a major contributor to metabolic disease including obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Ember is developing a broad pipeline of large and small molecule programs that augment and activate the body's brown fat, amplifying the natural ability to efficiently burn fuel stores such as glucose and lipids to reduce stored calories in the body.
"BMP7 is an exciting target for brown fat because it has been shown to promote brown fat differentiation and thermogenesis in vivo and in vitro," said Dr. Kahn. "At the Joslin, one of our goals is to partner with industry to translate academic discoveries into potential treatments for the benefit of patients. I look forward to further advancing research into this promising target and a potential new therapeutic approach for the treatment of obesity and Type 2 diabetes."
In addition to the licensing agreement, Joslin will conduct research services for Ember through Joslin Technologies, an accelerator group within the institution that works with industry partners.