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Ember Therapeutics Announces Cell Publication of Key Beige Fat Discovery; Technology Licensed from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Study Finds that the Ember-Licensed, Novel Hormone Irisin Targets these Beige Fat Cells


BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul 13, 2012 - Ember Therapeutics, Inc., a company harnessing breakthroughs in brown fat biology and insulin sensitization to revolutionize the treatment of metabolic disease, today announced the publication of key data isolating “beige fat” cells and describing their unique genetic profile for the first time. The study, published in the journal Cell, found that beige fat cells - which burn caloric energy like “brown fat” cells - are specifically targeted by the hormone irisin.

This breakthrough beige fat research was led by Bruce Spiegelman, Ph.D., professor of cell biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, and a co-founder of Ember, and was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the JPB Foundation and the American Heart Association. Ember recently completed a licensing agreement with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for intellectual property related to this beige fat discovery.

“This study from the lab of one of Ember's scientific co-founders sheds additional light on the complex matter of brown, beige and white fat,” said Louis Tartaglia, Ph.D., president and interim chief executive officer of Ember. “Importantly, the data provides further understanding of the nature of brown fat in humans, thus allowing more rational approaches to effectively and safely develop drugs that augment this tissue in patients. Ember is aggressively working on translating world-class research in the brown fat space to meet the critical need for novel approaches to metabolic diseases.”

The newly isolated beige fat cells are a type of brown fat cell that is distinct from the classic brown fat most highly studied in small mammals and human infants. Beige fat cells are produced from white fat depots when triggered by specific conditions such as exercise and cold. Similar to brown fat, beige fat burns caloric energy, whereas white fat stores excess energy.

The paper, “Beige Adipocytes are a Distinct Type of Thermogenic Fat Cell in Mouse and Human,” is now available online and will publish in the print edition of Cell on July 20.

About Ember Therapeutics, Inc.

Ember Therapeutics is a product-focused company harnessing breakthroughs in brown fat biology and insulin sensitization to revolutionize the treatment of metabolic disease. Today's rising epidemic of obesity and Type 2 diabetes coupled with the lack of innovation in the industry's metabolic disorder treatment pipeline underscores the need for novel, peripherally-acting treatments with improved safety profiles. Ember's unique approach leverages recent research breakthroughs in brown fat biology to develop a pipeline of proprietary large and small molecules designed to amplify the body's innate ability to efficiently burn fuels like glucose. Ember's expertise is also driving the development of the next generation of highly selective insulin sensitizers that have robust anti-diabetic effects, but lack the serious side effects of currently approved insulin sensitizers. Ember is a private company launched in 2011 by renowned scientific founders, an experienced leadership team and Third Rock Ventures. For more information, please visit


Contact: For Ember Therapeutics, Inc.
Pure Communications
Kristie Wallis, 336-774-8666


Posted: July 2012