ERX Pharmaceuticals is developing treatments for obesity, including a first-in-class leptin sensitizer, in an effort to address the unmet need for safe and efficacious obesity treatments.
Obesity is a Serious Disease
Obesity is characterized by many scientists and medical societies as a resilient and complex chronic disease with strong genetic and biological components.1 Patients with obesity are those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of >30 kg/m2, which includes approximately 40% of US adults, or an estimated 93.3 million people.2 As one’s BMI increases, so does the risk for more than 50 other diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, some cancers, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.3 Individuals with Class II (BMI ≥35 and <40) or Class III (BMI ≥40) obesity are at the highest risk of comorbidities.4 Obesity is also associated with poorer quality of life and adverse mental health outcomes.5
Individual genetic and biological factors play a significant role in weight gain and the inability to achieve and maintain weight loss, in addition to an unhealthy diet and limited exercise. The body’s systems for regulating hunger, fullness, fat storage, and energy balance are complicated, and if a part of those systems is not functioning as it should, it can contribute to weight gain and challenges in losing weight.
Many individuals would benefit from pharmacologic support to help them lose weight. While lifestyle interventions can reduce body weight, weight regain is common. Current treatment options generally have limited weight loss efficacy, and/or side effects which may limit duration of treatment, leaving patients short of achieving and maintaining a healthier weight. An ideal weight loss therapy would be safe and well-tolerated and help people to achieve greater than 10% weight loss, leading to beneficial effects on weight-related comorbidities.10
ERX seeks to address the unmet needs in obesity through the development of weight loss therapies with a novel mechanism of action.