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Nutrient-based alternative to weight-loss drugs enters next stage of testing

The novel pill is drug-free and more affordable that existing products.

Blizard Institute laboratories

The Blizard Institute laboratories

Enterika, an exciting new spinout company from Queen Mary University of London, have secured £50k from Innovate UK to test how different doses of their novel drug-free weight-loss pill impacts how much you eat. The results will lead to larger studies to assess how much weight you can lose.

Enterika emerged out of a decade of Queen Mary research which discovered that you can make people feel fuller by targeting certain combinations of nutrients to the lower gut, which in turn releases hormones into the blood stream and activates sensory nerves to suppress your appetite.

Suppressing appetite is a known way of reducing overeating to tackle obesity. Where Enterika differs to current weight-loss products is that it uses naturally occurring dietary nutrients rather than drugs. This makes it substantially cheaper than rival products, therefore making it more easily available to anyone who needs it. This matters because obesity is often more prevalent in poorer areas compared to richer places. In Britain, one in five adults in the least deprived areas are obese, rising to one in three in the most deprived areas.

Dr Madusha Peiris, founder of Enterika and a senior lecturer in neuroscience at Queen Mary, comments:

“Obesity is a global public health issue requiring safe, effective, accessible, and complimentary treatments to reduce how much people eat. We have demonstrated in a clinical trial that our nutrient-based approach can reduce food intake now we need to show how different doses have different effects. This will allow us to produce a product that is natural but clinically proven and validated to the same standard as a pharmaceutical drug.”

No other company or institution is pursuing this nutrient-based approach. With the right backing, Enterika’s patented technology could therefore be a major disruptor in the anti-obesity market – estimated to be worth $6B a year and expected to grow to up to $100B by 2030, according to Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, with more than a billion people obese. The final product will be natural but clinically proven and validated in a placebo-controlled trial like a pharmaceutical drug. It will only be available to those who clinically need it.

The £50K from Innovate UK is an ‘Unlocking UK Potential: Build’ Award that supports founders from communities underrepresented in innovation, such as women and people from minority ethnic backgrounds.



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