We held a special signing ceremony today at our Lake Nona, Orlando, campus to renew our research agreement with Florida Hospital and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. The renewal extends our collaboration to discover and evaluate new therapeutic approaches to obesity. The collaboration uses a research and drug-development model that creates an early feedback loop in the discovery pipeline. We and our partners expect this model will shorten the time to develop new therapeutics.
Interest in the development of obesity treatments remains strong, as the regulatory approval of two new obesity therapeutics in 2012 offered a proven pathway for drug candidates. “As the worldwide obesity crisis continues to escalate, we are seeing a rise in the prevalence of severe obesity—defined by BMI greater than 40—and we know that this subset of the obese population experiences increased mortality and associated diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer,” said Steven R. Smith, M.D., scientific director of the Florida Hospital – Sanford-Burnham Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes (TRI) and president-elect of The Obesity Society. “These statistics are staggering and clearly demonstrate the need to rapidly develop treatment strategies for obesity.”