Plasticell is developing natural and synthetic compounds for the treatment of diabetes and obesity, two of the most prevalent diseases in the developed world.
Obesity and associated illness such as type II diabetes are occurring at increasing rates worldwide. Current approaches to manage these using drugs are inefficient and/or unsafe and novel treatment strategies are urgently needed.
Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) is a rare type of fat that efficiently burns calories to produce heat and is thought to be involved in the attenuation of the metabolic syndrome that leads to diabetes. We believe that converting white fat to BAT or increasing the activity of pre-existing BAT in an individual, can be used to treat diabetes and may lead to weight loss medicine without excessive dieting or exercise.
We have developed robust and highly efficient methods of producing functional BAT from human adult-derived stem cells. These BAT cells are being used to investigate the unique properties of this tissue and to screen drug libraries, including rare natural products, to discover drugs that enhance the metabolic function of BAT.
The global market for diabetes is estimated at US$18bn per year while that for obesity is US$1bn per year and growing.