SEOUL -- South Korea's insulin pump maker EOFlow has teamed up with British biotech firm Zihipp to push for the early commercialization of effective obesity and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis treatments based on wearable drug delivery solutions. The two companies aim to achieve up to 15 percent of weight loss within three months.
EOFlow said its US subsidiary has signed an agreement with Zihipp to establish a joint venture in the United States. With an injection of $15 million, the subsidiary would secure a 70 percent stake in the new venture named SanPlena. Zihipp will provide its proprietary peptide analogues and clinical support. EOFlow will provide EOPatch, the world’s second tubeless, wearable, and disposable insulin pump that enables continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion.
The joint venture will focus on developing a family of gut-hormone analogues that promise rapid and dramatic weight loss without common side effects seen with other such agents delivered via daily or weekly injection. SanPlena's candidate materials can be continuously injected subcutaneously through wearable injectors, EOFlow said, adding that side effects can be avoided by the temporary suspension of injection or injection control.
EOFlow thinks that technology transfer will be possible as early as the end of 2023 through the quick completion of clinical trials. "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 CEO Jesse J. Kim said in a statement.
Zihipp led by Stephen R. Bloom, a leading obesity expert, has developed new peptide drug candidates optimized for obesity and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) treatment analogous to appetite-suppressing hormones. NASH can be defined as the liver manifestation of a metabolic disorder and is the most severe form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease closely related to the triple epidemic of obesity, pre-diabetes, and diabetes.
Such analogues have been optimized for continuous subcutaneous delivery to avoid common side effects associated with the daily or weekly injection of similar agents. "The obesity treatment developed by Zihipp and licensed to SanPlena is a powerful game-changer that can dramatically shorten the treatment period and increase the success rate compared to existing treatments for obesity," Bloom was quoted as saying.
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