EOFlow, a biotech specializing in drug delivery platforms, said its U.S. branch EOFlow Inc. and Zihipp, a spin-out firm of Imperial College London, have agreed to establish a joint venture in the U.S. for weight loss.
The new joint venture named SanPlena will focus on developing wearable injectable devices for weight loss and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
Zihipp has many treatment candidates optimized for obesity and NASH, such as oxyntomodulin and peptide YY analogs. The company has proven its effectiveness through animal experiments and phase 1 clinical trials.
Oxyntomodulin has long been recognized as a strong candidate for diabetes and obesity treatment, but its short half-life and side effects, including vomiting and abdominal pain, stranded the successful commercialization.
EOFlow said its wearable injector could avoid side effects of the candidate materials by stopping or adjusting the dosage, allowing continuous injection.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO) data showed that more than 1.9 billion people older than 18 were overweight, and 650 million of them fell under the obese category.
The company explained that there are various therapies, such as bypass surgery, for obesity but they are not widely used due to the difficulty of the operation and following complications.
In addition, existing anti-obesity drugs based on GLP-1 analogs require about a year to reduce 10 to 15 percent of consumers’ body weight, leaving an unmet need for improved treatments.
EOFlow added that SanPlena aims to leverage the advantages of EOFlow’s wearable, digital healthcare platform to provide promising agents in driving rapid and dramatic weight loss, up to 15 percent of one’s body weight in three months.
Sir Stephen Bloom, the executive chairman of Zihipp, said, “The obesity treatment developed by Zihipp and licensed to SanPlena is a powerful game-changer that can dramatically shorten the treatment period for obesity and increase the success rate.”
Sir Bloom added that Zihipp expects to significantly shorten the time for commercialization with EOFlow’s wearable drug-delivering platform as the company already secured the safety and efficacy profile in previous studies.
EOFlow CEO Kim Jae-jin also said, “As the adult obese population reaches 650 million worldwide, the obesity treatment market has huge unmet opportunities, and a powerful and rapid treatment for obesity can become a blockbuster product helping to address the global crisis in obesity,”
EOFlow is proud to partner with the biotech firm leading the world’s innovative weight loss researches, Kim added.