UK-Based Company Offers Biopharmaceutical Weight-Loss Solutions

Zihipp Limited, a UK-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of peptide hormones for the treatment of diabetes and obesity, announces it has completed a £3.3 million Series A financing round. The investment was led by Mubadala Investment Company, an investment and development company owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi.

Mubadala Investment Company, through its Mubadala Healthcare investment arm, owns a number of UAE facilities focused on treating obesity and diabetes, including the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi.

Zihipp will use the funds to develop a pipeline of oxyntomodulin and PYY peptides originating in the laboratory of Professor Sir Stephen Bloom FRS at Imperial College London.

Zihipp’s products address the global pandemics of obesity and diabetes, linked conditions which affect 1 in 11 individuals worldwide and account for 12% of global healthcare expenditure.  Diabetes is closely linked to obesity, and type 2 diabetes can be effectively treated through weight reduction.  At present, diabetes affects over 435 million people worldwide, and its prevalence is growing.

Obesity also affects a significant proportion of the world’s population – one recent estimate suggests a third of the US adult population is obese.  Though weight reduction is an effective treatment for diabetes, it is difficult to achieve through calorie-controlled dieting as patients have difficulty complying with such regimes.

Weight loss interventions have therefore become well-established and include gastro-intestinal bypass surgery, and pharmaceutical approaches using hormone treatments e.g. injectable glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogues.

In both cases increased satiety hormones reduce food intake, however, gastric bypass surgery is expensive and invasive, and can lead to serious complications, while GLP-1s only produce limited weight loss.

Data has been generated by the Bloom laboratory in both in vivo and human studies, and in vitro models, that demonstrates the Zihipp products to be more potent and longer-lasting than marketed GLP-1 products, allowing patients to lose significant weight without surgery.

The company holds an extensive exclusive license to multiple families of patents and pending applications covering oxyntomodulin and PYY peptides analogues developed in the Bloom laboratory, as well as access to the pre-clinical and clinical data packages resulting from clinical trials Imperial College has conducted to date.  Additionally, the company has entered into a partnership with Imperial College under which it has an exclusive option to receive further IP developed by the Bloom group.

Abdulla Al Shamsi, Head of Healthcare at Mubadala commented, “With the high rates of obesity and diabetes in the UAE, these new treatments promise to make a significant impact on public health. We are always seeking to invest in cutting-edge healthcare-related technologies that can benefit our patients.”

“I am delighted that Zihipp has secured Series A financing from Mubadala”, commented Professor Sir Stephen Bloom FRS, Chairman of Zihipp. “Mubadala has an excellent track record of investing to address the most pressing healthcare needs and we look forward to working with them to develop these exciting new treatments.”