UNM Rainforest Innovations

Eric Prossnitz, Distinguished Professor of Internal Medicine; Chief, Division of Molecular Medicine at the University of New Mexico Health & Sciences Center, has discovered a novel therapeutic for the treatment of diabetes and obesity.

FEBRUARY 20, 2020
JOHN CHAVEZ, (505) 660-1046

Albuquerque, NM, FEBRUARY 20TH, 2020 – GPER G-1 Development Group, a portfolio company of the New Mexico Start-up Factory, is a New Mexico-based drug discovery company developing a diabetes and weight loss drug based on technology developed at the University of New Mexico. GPER G-1 Development Group congratulates the UNM-led team of investigators that recently published a manuscript in Science Translational Medicine (one of the premiere journals from the American Association for the Advancement of Science) titled “Preclinical efficacy of the GPER-selective agonist G-1 in mouse models of obesity and diabetes.” Eric Prossnitz, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Internal Medicine and Chief of the Division of Molecular Medicine, is the senior author of the paper. The publication highlights the recent discovery of the G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) as a novel therapeutic target for obesity and diabetes.

The GPER-targeted therapeutic drug G-1 addresses the obesity and the diabetes epidemics. Health officials have identified diabetes as a leading cause of death; by 2040, the number of individuals diagnosed with diabetes is expected to nearly double to more than 640 million. In addition, complications resulting from obesity can lead to numerous other health conditions, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

The GPER G-1 Development Group is a drug discovery and development company with the primary goal of advancing novel drug candidates that target GPER. The company has optioned a collection of unique compounds that selectively modulate GPER, either activating it or inhibiting it, for use in treating multiple diseases associated with this receptor. The lead drug candidate is G-1 (TespriaTM), a GPER agonist to treat obesity through weight loss, and to reverse diabetes and pre-diabetes.

“Tespria is a potential breakthrough drug for diabetes and obesity,” said Dr. John Elling, GPER G-1 Development Group’s CEO. “These indications are reaching epidemic proportions in the United States and worldwide. New treatment options are critical.” The publication of Dr. Prossnitz’s research validates the therapeutic potential of G-1, recognizing the many scientists behind the discovery of this novel therapeutic agent. GPER G-1 represents New Mexico supported innovation at its finest – a biotech company making strides to bring forth the advancement of molecular medicine by developing discoveries made in the lab for applicable commercialization.

“I am proud that the results of our research are being advanced by a company that is working towards changing the way we treat and prevent diabetes and obesity,” said Prossnitz. “The ability to cultivate a promising technology discovered at the University of New Mexico and take it to market is an experience of a lifetime.”

Innovative discoveries made by scientists at The University of New Mexico are supported by STC.UNM, the university’s technology transfer and economic development organization. Dr. Prossnitz’s technology, developed at UNM, was optioned to GPER G-1 Development Group in 2018 by STC.UNM, which plays a crucial role in New Mexico’s economic development by connecting the business community to UNM technologies for licensing opportunities and the creation of start-up companies: “It is very exciting to see the results in the Science Translational Medicine publication that validate Dr. Prossnitz’s findings of using G-1 for treatment of obesity,” said Lisa Kuuttila, CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer of STC.UNM. “This is an early validation of the clinical importance of G-1, which could be a major advancement in the health of millions of people.”

The portfolio company GPER G-1 Development Group was launched by New Mexico Start-Up Factory (NMSUF), a New Mexico based organization that specializes in commercializing laboratory technologies. The organization works with scientists looking to take their innovations out of the lab and into the market. Through their program, companies like GPER G-1 Development Group are provided mentorship and resources to validate technologies and move them through the commercialization process. The New Mexico Start-Up Factory also bridges the gap by providing their portfolio companies with early-stage funding opportunities as they focus on developing their products and teams.

The company will continue to support the advancement of the technology and its therapeutic applications in the marketplace. For more information, please see the resources below:


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