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May 2, 2014

Second Genome, Pfizer Take On Obesity via the Microbiome

  • Second Genome is teaming up with Pfizer to conduct research on the microbiome as part of a study focused on obesity and metabolic disease. The study's aim will be to evaluate different clinical factors and the microbiome in a select cohort of around 900 individuals with different metabolic phenotypes to investigate the inter-relationship between the microbiome, obesity, and metabolic disorders.

    The cohort, dubbed the Cardiology and Metabolic Patient (CAMP) cohort, is made up of patients and normal subjects that have been recruited by a team led by Paul Huang, M.D., Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital's cardiology division. This cohort was previously involved in research published in Nature Genetics with the title "Loss-of-function mutations in SLC30A8 protect against type 2 diabetes", where a gene conferring resistance to the development of diabetes was discovered.

    "Our relationship with Pfizer on a study of this size and magnitude is needed to potentially shift our understanding of this runaway epidemic and find fresh approaches to treating metabolic disease," Peter DiLaura, Second Genome's president and CEO, said in a statement.

    Recent research, according to Second Genome, has shown the microbiome plays a significant role in metabolic processes and that links have been found between changes in gut microbes and metabolic conditions including obesity and type 2 diabetes. Recent studies, including this one, have found that introducing specific microbes to the gut can influence weight loss or gain, which makes the microbiome an attractive target for obesity treatments.


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