Therapeutic Peptide for Obesity and Diabetes [ID 17021]



Obesity is a significant public health problem. Statistics show that 70% of U.S. adults are considered overweight or obese and 17% of children under the age of 19 have obesity1. Being overweight or obese puts a person at risk for many other health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer2. As a result, the cost of obesity to the U.S. healthcare system is estimated to be $147 billion, with additional productivity costs between $3.38 and $6.38 billion3.


While there are treatments for the comorbidities associated with obesity, these treatments do not target some of the major underlying issues associated with the condition. Research at Ohio University has led to the discovery of a peptide that can target the root cause of obesity, especially fat storage and breakdown (fat turnover), treating the disease and minimizing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other associated maladies. Impaired fat storage and breakdown leads to increased circulatory free fatty acids, which is a major risk factor for lipotoxicity. Free fatty acid deposits can impair insulin signaling in various tissues and organs like the liver, muscles and pancreas with the onset of insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes and/or obesity.


The peptide discovered by scientists at Ohio University targets the pathway of fat turnover to optimally regulate fat storage and breakdown which ultimately corrects insulin resistance in the fat tissue of obese humans.



The peptide belongs to a protein called fat specific protein 27 (FSP27), Administration of FSP27 improves insulin signaling, resulting in decreased insulin resistance, optimized storage and breakdown of fat, reduction in circulatory free fatty acids and improved blood glucose levels.


The ability of FSP27 to regulate fat metabolism and improve insulin signaling and angiogenesis in vivo has been demonstrated utilizing primary adipocytes or adipose tissue isolated from human subjects.


In addition, studies using recombinant FSP27 showed the same positive outcome as using FSP27 expressed in an adenovirus; therefore, the therapeutic can be delivered as a recombinant protein versus relying on viral vector-mediated administration.


Commercial Application

Recombinant FSP27 can be formulated as a therapeutic for targeting obesity and its underlying causes. By targeting the mechanism of the disease, FSP27 can decrease or eliminate the need for other medications, including those that treat type 2 diabetes. It is envisioned that this treatment will dramatically improve the health and quality of life for millions of adults and children suffering from the effects of obesity. Ohio University is seeking a collaborative partner interested in pursuing a novel treatment for tackling this debilitating condition.


Recombinant FSP27 improves insulin signaling in human visceral adipose.

siRNA-mediated  FSP27  knockdown  increases  basal  lipolysis  (A)  and  impairs  insulin  signaling  (B)  in  human  subcutaneous  adipose  tissue  (n=7).  Treatment  with recombinant  FSP27  decreased  basal  lipolysis (C) and increased Akt activity (D) in human visceral adipose tissue (n=7). Data are presented as ± SEM. *p<0.05.


Published Patent Application:

WO 2018/232057



1 Overweight & Obesity Statistics

2 Health Risks of Being Overweight

3 Adult Obesity Causes & Consequences


Printable Overview



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Korie Counts
Technology Commercialization Manager
Ohio University
Vishwajeet Puri
John Kopchick
Vishva Sharma
Noyan Gokce