BOSTON, March 17, 2021 ERX Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company developing a first-in-class leptin sensitizer to treat obesity is moving forward with next stage of their FDA approved Phase 1 study evaluating ERX1000. If successful, ERX’s research could greatly reduce the prevalence of obesity worldwide, saving millions of lives lost to illnesses caused by obesity and billions spent on treatment.
The World Obesity Federation found that by the end of 2020, global Covid-19 death rates were more than 10 times higher in countries where more than half the adults are overweight, compared to countries where fewer than half are overweight. Obesity prevalence is at pandemic levels, causing increased rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other diseases that kill 2.8 million people each year, yet treatment is invasive and infrequent
ERX’s research could change the field. Their experimental oral pill hinges on Dr. Umut Ozcan’s decade of work targeting how the brain communicates with systems impacting weight loss and hunger. At a critical time in public health, trials to test ERX1000 could prove lifechanging. If the experiments are successful, ERX’s novel oral pill could provide an effective and safe alternative to the invasive treatments available today.
ERX demonstrated proof-of-concept in first-in-human studies in obese subjects and is commencing two concurrent placebo-controlled 28 day studies of 4 mg. of ERX1000. Once the maximally efficacious and safe dose is defined, ERX plans to proceed to Phase 2, in close consultation with the FDA.
“We have attracted investors globally, raising $30 million to support ERX research and development,” said Teo Uysal, founding CEO of ERX. “Our investors joined to be part of an innovative solution to the global health scourge of pandemic proportions. 42.4% of Americans and 13% of people globally suffer from obesity, yet only one percent of obese patients receive prescription medication. If we can increase this to five percent, ERX and our investors will perform an extraordinary good, while potentially creating an $11 billion market by 2026.”
Mr. Uysal is CEO and Director of ERX Pharmaceuticals. An experienced scientist, his career spans two decades of work as a researcher, executive and venture capitalist across diverse technology sectors.
Dr. Umut Ozcan, the Company’s Scientific co-founder said, “I am thrilled about our opportunity to determine whether higher doses of ERX1000 result in greater efficacy. These critical next steps are key milestones in our quest to develop a first-in-class and best-in-therapeutic area treatment for obesity and, ultimately, take aim at the most common complications of obesity, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”
Dr. Ozcan is a leading researcher on molecular mechanisms driving obesity and leptin resistance. An associate professor at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, his research shows how molecular stress leads to the development of leptin resistance and obesity. His work resulted in the identification of ERX1000, which is the company’s lead compound, aimed at counteracting leptin resistance.
The two new Phase 1 trials run from March to July 2021. The decision-tree for the Company’s clinical strategy will be shaped by the trial results, culminating in a Phase 2 study once the lead compound’s maximum efficacy is demonstrated. ERX estimates it will require an additional $25-30 million to complete the Phase 2 trial and will soon begin fundraising discussions with prospective investors.
ERX Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and clinical development of innovative drugs to treat obesity and obesity-associated metabolic diseases.
SOURCE ERX Pharmaceuticals