Biopharmconsortium Blog

Expert commentary from Haberman Associates biotechnology and pharmaceutical consulting.

Posts filed under: Metabolic diseases

Obesity therapeutics update

TweetThe Biopharmconsortium Blog has over the years included numerous articles about obesity, and the attempts of researchers and companies to develop treatments for this disease. Obesity, which has historically been considered the result of “lack of willpower” or other behavioral issues, was recognized as a disease by the American Medical Association in June 2013. This…

Neandertals, diabetes, and drug discovery

TweetIn our 2010 end-of-year blog article entitled “2010: Breakthroughs, Newsmakers, And Deals Of The Year”, we proposed an alternative nominee for the life science breakthrough of the year: the determination of the sequence of approximately two-thirds of the Neandertal genome by Svante Pääbo (Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany.) and his colleagues. We stated…

Zafgen makes progress in development of obesity drug beloranib

TweetOn November 15, 2013 obesity specialty company Zafgen (Cambridge, MA) announced the results of its Phase 2 study of beloranib in a press release. We discussed beloranib (ZGN-433) in our May 23, 2012 article on the Biopharmconsortium Blog. Beloranib is a methionine aminopeptidase 2 (MetAP2) inhibitor. Beloranib targeting of MetAP2 in vivo results in downregulation…

Agios Pharmaceuticals becomes a clinical-stage company!

TweetIn a news release on September 23, 2013, Agios Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge, MA) announced that it had initiated its first clinical study. The company further discussed its early clinical and preclinical programs in its press release on its Third Quarter financial report, dated November 7, 2013. Specifically, the company initiated a Phase 1 muticenter clinical trial…

Obesity, sarcopenia, aging, and health

Tweet In our  June 25, 2010 article on the Biopharmconsortium Blog, we discussed the “contrarian” views of Dr. Katherine M. Flegal and her colleagues at the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the epidemiology of obesity. According to Dr. Flegal, based on epidemiological data from the…

New findings on mechanism of activation of sirtuins may vindicate Sirtris founders

TweetThe Biopharmconsortium Blog has from time to time been following novel developments in anti-aging medicine, including attempts to develop activators of sirtuins. However, we have not had an article on sirtuins since December 1, 2010. At that time, we reported on the discontinuation by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) of its lead sirtuin activator, SRT501, a proprietary formulation…

Haberman Associates in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) article on Agios Pharmaceuticals

Tweet  I was quoted in an article in the November 19, 2012 issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) by senior editor Lisa M Jarvis. The article is entitled “Agios Takes A Long View In Cell Metabolism.” The article focuses on Agios Pharmaceuticals’ (Cambridge, MA) strategy for building a company that can endure as an…

Novel hypercholesterolemia drugs move toward FDA decisions

Tweet  Mid-October 2012 was a busy time for the FDA’s Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee. On October 17, 2012, the panel voted 13-2 to recommend approval of Aegerion’s lomitapide for treatment of homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. The next day, October 18, 2012, the same panel voted 9-6 to recommend approval of Isis/Sanofi/Genzyme’s mipomersen for the…

Beige fat enters the obesity-therapeutics target arena

Tweet  This is an update to our recent discussion on targeting the physiology of brown fat [or brown adipose tissue (BAT)], in developing novel antiobesity therapies. It is based on a research article published in the July 20 2012 issue of Cell by Dr. Bruce Spiegelman (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston MA)…

Vivus’ Qsymia (formerly Qnexa) approved by the FDA–the most efficacious weight-loss drug ever approved in the U.S.

Tweet  On July 17th, 2012, Vivus, Inc. (Mountain View, CA) announced that the FDA has approved its antiobesity drug, Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate extended-release). This is the second antiobesity drug–after lorcaserin (Arena/Eisai’s Belviq)–to be approved in 13 years. Belviq was approved just last month; this was the focus of our June 30, 2012 Biopharmconsortium Blog…