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FASgen secures patents, $500K investment

Awardee Story FASgen secures patents, $500K investment
Date: Feb 03, 2006

Source: bizjournals ( click here to go to the source)

Life sciences company FASgen Inc. has received a $500,000 investment from a new private equity investor on the heels of securing key patents overseas for its weight-loss technology.

Baltimore-based FASgen wasn't looking for money, executives said, but the unsolicited investment -- from a backer the company did not name -- "is perhaps the most compelling testimony in support of our progress," CEO Dr. Albert H. Owens said in a statement.

FASgen, founded in 2000 by four Johns Hopkins researchers, has developed small molecule compounds it says are designed to limit the appetite and to boost the metabolic breakdown of excess fat stored in the body.

The company said Friday it had been issued European and Eurasian patents related to its technology inhibiting the production of a fat-producing enzyme, fatty-acid synthase.

Company founders also believe the enzyme may be used to kill cancer cells and treat tuberculosis.

FASgen won a $2.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health last October to complete preclinical and animal testing on its compounds. The company also landed $2.5 million to complete safety tests needed for an anti-tuberculosis drug under development.

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