Novartis Venture Fund and UZH Foundation invest CHF1M in an anti-obesity drug


EraCal Therapeutics, developing the first-in-class anti-obesity drug, has secured its first investment from Life Sciences Fund. The capital will enable EraCal to kick-off its lead optimization program.


Overweight and obesity are some of the world’s most significant problems affecting more than a third of the population. More than 650 million people are obese, with a body-mass-index above 30 and 1.9 billion overweight, with a BMI above 25. The repercussions of obesity include type 2 diabetes, depression or hypertension, which are all detrimental to human life. In response to the immense problem the Zurich based startup EraCal Therapeutics, founded in 2018 as a spinoff of the University of Harvard and University of Zurich, has discovered a new therapy for treating obesity and its comorbidities with greater efficacy than traditional methods. The startup’s appetite suppression pill (Era-107) will enable patients to lose weight, thereby reducing the risk of diseases. The startup identified a set of small molecules which have shown remarkable in-vivo potency and safety in three vertebrates. EraCal has now obtained the first investment of CHF 1 million from the Life Sciences Fund with an equal contribution from the Novartis Venture Fund and UZH Foundation. The new capital will enable EraCal to launch its lead optimisation program in the next steps. The new funds come after the receipt of the Venture Kick prize money of CHF 130’000 in February. A finalist in the >>Venuture>> competition, EraCal is currently contesting for another cash prize of up to CHF 100'000. (RAN)