Florida Hospital, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham), and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda)(TSE: 4502), announced today that they have signed a research agreement to form a collaboration to discover and evaluate new therapeutic approaches to obesity, a growing worldwide health problem. The partnership aligns complementary strengths in biomedical research, clinical research and drug development to identify and validate obesity- related biomarkers and new peripheral molecular targets of mutual interest.
“There is an epidemic of obesity in the US; two-thirds of Americans are now overweight or obese. These staggering statistics serve as a call for decisive action, including innovative bench-to-bedside translational research,” said Steven R. Smith, M.D., a key opinion leader in the obesity field, and scientific director of the Florida Hospital-Sanford-Burnham Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes (TRI) where the Florida Hospital portion of the work will be performed. “This partnership with Takeda, TRI and Sanford-Burnham represents a major milestone in the quest for a better understanding of obesity as a disease and a pathway forward for the development of safe and effective therapies.”
The partnership is the first corporate-sponsored research jointly undertaken by Sanford-Burnham at Lake Nona and the TRI. The multi-disciplinary team of basic scientists and clinical researchers at Sanford-Burnham and the TRI provide Takeda, a global pharmaceutical company, with a research continuum from laboratory bench to bedside. Advanced technologies, including genomic and metabolite profiling, will be used to identify metabolic signatures, genes and pathways that could serve as biomarkers and novel drug targets aimed at developing more personalized treatments for obesity and its complications. The research model combines laboratory-based assets with in-depth investigation of patient cohorts so that scientists can compare data from experimental models and humans to identify genetic and metabolomic “matches.”
“This research partnership is a collaborative model that capitalizes on the synergistic expertise of each group and provides all partners with access to our Cardiometabolic Phenotyping, Metabolomics and Genomics technology cores,” said Daniel P. Kelly, M.D., scientific director, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona. “It offers much promise for expediting new drug candidates into Takeda’s development pipeline.”
This two year, collaborative agreement includes research funding from Takeda divided between Florida Hospital-TRI and Sanford-Burnham. For Takeda this collaboration represents one of the largest and most ambitious discovery research partnerships that it has conducted with the not-for-profit sector.
“We view this collaboration as an opportunity to further Takeda’s goal of identifying targets for new therapeutics to treat obesity and its negative health consequences, including metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease.” said Dr. Paul Chapman, General Manager, Head of Pharmaceutical Research Division of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.
The partners expect that this research agreement will set the stage for future collaborative drug discovery campaigns aimed at novel therapeutics to treat obesity.
Obesity: An Epidemic
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, over one-third of Americans are overweight and another one-third is obese (http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/). Obesity leads to numerous serious illnesses, including type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, gallstones, fatty liver disease, sleep apnea, heart failure, birth defects, miscarriages, asthma, and some forms of cancer. Obesity causes at least 112,000 excess deaths in the U.S. each year and reduces lifespan by up to eight years. Medical-related expenses attributable to obesity are projected to top $344 billion by 2018.