Potential obesity breakthrough boosts Marcadia

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Marcadia Biotech is now on the radar screen.

CEO Fritz French thinks the publication of the Carmel company’s research on obesity-fighting compounds by the major scientific journal *Nature Chemical Biology will grab attention of scientists and other drug companies around the world.“It gets us more exposure to large pharma companies collaborating down the road — on other things,” French said. The *Nature article involved Marcadia’s collaborative work with New Jersey-based drug giant Merck & Co. Inc. But the Carmel-based biotech firm has several other obesity and diabetes-fighting drugs in its pipeline.

“All of these things add to your credibility and image,” French said.

*Nature Chemical Biology is a sister publication of the widely known journal *Nature.

The *Nature article demonstrated the elimination of obesity in rodents in one week with an injection of Marcadia-developed molecules. The molecules, licensed from Indiana University, combine some of the protein sequence of two naturally occurring hormones that regulate blood sugar, glucagon and glucagon-like-peptide-1.

The novel combination had a big impact on the mice used in tests of the drug. Marcadia’s researchers found that a single injection of their best molecule in mice decreased body weight by 25 percent and fat mass by 42 percent after one week. Repeated treatment had even greater effect.

“The results that we saw in these animal models were unprecedented,” French said.

Marcadia and Merck will move the experimental molecules into human trials, which will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to take all the way to market. And it may not get there. Plenty of experimental drugs have shown great promise in animals only to fail in humans.

But the buzz about Marcadia’s potential breakthrough could help the company with future fund-raising needs. To date, the 3-year-old company has raised $16 million in venture capital.

It has 10 employees and works closely with researchers at IU, who toil under Marcadia co-founder Richard DiMarchi. DiMarchi and University of Cincinnati physician Matthias Tschöp were the co-lead authors of the *Nature article.

“It is an important milestone for the company to get this external validation,” French said. “We’ve been relatively under the radar of a lot of people until now.”•


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Gay marriage is coming, whether or not these bigots and zealots like it or not. We must work to ensure future generations remember the likes of Greg Zoeller like they do the racists of our past...in shame.

  2. Perhaps a diagram of all the network connections of all politicians to their supporters and those who are elite/wealthy and how they have voted on bills that may have benefited their supporters. The truth may hurt, but there are no non-disclosures in government.

  3. I'm sure these lawyers were having problems coming up with any non-religious reason to ban same-sex marriage. I've asked proponents of this ban the question many times and the only answers I have received were religious reasons. Quite often the reason had to do with marriage to a pet or marriage between a group even though those have nothing at all to do with this. I'm looking forward to less discrimination in our state soon!

  4. They never let go of the "make babies" argument. It fails instantaneously because a considerable percentage of heterosexual marriages don't produce any children either. Although if someone wants to pass a law that any couple, heterosexual or homosexual, cannot be legally married (and therefore not utilize all legal, financial, and tax benefits that come with it) until they have produced a biological child, that would be fun to see as a spectator. "All this is a reflection of biology," Fisher answered. "Men and women make babies, same-sex couples do not... we have to have a mechanism to regulate that, and marriage is that mechanism." The civil contract called marriage does NOTHING to regulate babymaking, whether purposefully or accidental. These conservatives really need to understand that sex education and access to birth control do far more to regulate babymaking in this country. Moreover, last I checked, same-sex couples can make babies in a variety of ways, and none of them are by accident. Same-sex couples often foster and adopt the children produced by the many accidental pregnancies from mixed-sex couples who have failed at self-regulating their babymaking capabilities.

  5. Every parent I know with kids from 6 -12 has 98.3 on its car radio all the time!! Even when my daughter isn't in the car I sometimes forget to change stations. Not everybody wants to pay for satellite radio. This will be a huge disappointment to my 9 year old. And to me - there's so many songs on the radio that I don't want her listening to.