Overcoming obesity

Investment team
Novo Seeds
Investment date
December 13, 2017

Obesity is a worldwide epidemic. According to the World Health Organization, more than 600 million people worldwide are obese. Obesity results in people struggling with diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and other severe conditions.

Antag Therapeutics is a Danish biotech startup that develops therapeutic peptides to improve the treatment of dietary-related metabolic diseases.

“The mission of Antag Therapeutics is to develop first-in-class drugs for the treatment of dietary-related metabolic diseases,” explains Alexander Hovard Sparre-Ulrich, CEO of the company, standing in a conference room at the University of Copenhagen, where the company has its offices.

“Our drugs are based on a naturally occurring antagonist that modulates fat deposition and dysregulation of blood-sugar levels in patients suffering from obesity and type 2 diabetes,” he adds.

The company was founded based on ground-breaking research by professors at the University of Copenhagen and is moving towards the selection of its lead candidate with the ambition to push the programme to clinical trials in the coming years.

“Antag Therapeutics is based on the discovery of an effective antagonist of the GIP receptor and the unique possibility of doing human intervention studies to validate our novel approach.”

We are currently working on identifying our lead candidate and will validate this candidate against other competition in proof of concept studies Alexander Hovard Sparre-Ulrich, CEO, Antag Therapeutics

Funding and strategic advice

Antag has been in incubation with Novo Seeds since 2014, funded through both the exploratory pre-seed and the pre-seed programme of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Based on the company’s progress, Novo Seeds invested 20 million Danish kroner in the startup in 2017.

“Novo Seeds as an investor has been of great importance to us. In addition to financing us they have also offered strategic advice and helped us steer through the difficult startup phase. This seed investment has given us the opportunity of taking our scientific discovery and turning it into a drug that could potentially help millions of patients,” says Alexander Hovard Sparre-Ulrich.

The team has developed an expertise around the role of GIP (Gastric inhibitory polypeptide) in diabetes and obesity. ANTAG is a spinout of the University of Copenhagen.

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