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Third Rock launches Ember Therapeutics with $34m funding

16 Dec 2011

Third Rock Ventures has launched a new company, Ember Therapeutics, with $34m of Series A financing.

The company operates in the emerging area of brown fat biology, as well as recent breakthroughs in understanding the mechanisms of selective insulin sensitivity, into a proprietary pipeline of peripherally-acting treatments for metabolic diseases, including Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

While diabetes currently affects one in ten US adults, the Centers for Disease Control forecasts that up to one in three American adults could have diabetes by 2050. Experts attribute the rise in obesity nationwide — about one-third of all US adults are obese and another third are overweight — as one of the major contributors to this growing epidemic. The direct annual medical costs associated with Type 2 diabetes and obesity are more than $265bn in the US alone.

Louis Tartaglia, president and interim CEO of Ember Therapeutics and partner at Third Rock Ventures, said, “It is an unfortunate truth that Type 2 diabetes and obesity are a worldwide epidemic. This rising disease prevalence and a critical need for innovation in the pharmaceutical industry’s metabolic disease pipeline means there is a real opportunity for Ember to discover and develop new approaches to these conditions.

“Ember’s team of world-leading scientists, our proprietary programs in brown fat biology and selective insulin sensitisation and our exclusive licenses to key intellectual property and technology uniquely position us to address this growing medical challenge and dramatically impact the lives of patients,” he added.

Last month Third Rock participated in a $78m Series C financing round for Agios Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing cancer metabolism drugs.

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