UK's Zihipp secures £3.3 million in funding round led by Mubadala

Biotech company is developing obesity and diabetes treatments

UK based Zihipp Limited secured 3.3 million pounds Series A financing led by Mubadala Investment Company. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
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Zihipp secured £3.3 million (Dh15.82m) through a Series A funding round led by Mubadala Investment Company that it will use to develop obesity and diabetes treatments.

The biopharmaceutical company will develop peptide hormones - used to treat the global pandemics of diabetes and obesity - through science that originated in the laboratory of Professor Sir Stephen Bloom at Imperial College, London.

“With the high rates of obesity and diabetes in the UAE, these new treatments promise to make a significant impact on public health,” said Abdulla Al Shamsi, head of healthcare at Mubadala Investment Company.

“We are always seeking to invest in cutting-edge healthcare-related technologies that can benefit our patients.”

Obesity and diabetes are linked conditions that affect one in 11 individuals worldwide and account for 12 per cent of global healthcare expenditure.

Diabetes is closely linked to obesity, and type 2 diabetes can be effectively treated through weight reduction, the companies said. At present, diabetes affects over 435m people worldwide.

Obesity also affects a significant proportion of the world's population with one study suggesting that obesity levels in the UAE are as high as 37 per cent of the total population.

“Mubadala has an excellent track record of investing to address the most pressing healthcare needs and we look forward to working with them to develop these exciting new treatments,” said Professor Sir Stephen Bloom, chairman of Zihipp.

Zihipp holds an extensive exclusive license to multiple families of patents and pending applications covering oxyntomodulin and PYY peptides analogues developed in Professor Bloom's laboratory. It also has access to the pre-clinical and clinical data packages resulting from clinical trials that Imperial College has conducted to date.