Plasticell and Pierre Fabre agree to identify natural stimulants of brown fat to treat and prevent obesity and diabetes

Plasticell will screen Pierre Fabre's plant collection with the aim of developing plant-based products as functional foods or nutraceuticals

Plasticell, the biotechnology company specialising in stem cell differentiation, and Pierre Fabre, the second largest independent French pharmaceutical laboratory, have signed a collaboration agreement.

The two companies will work together to discover plant-based products that enhance the metabolic function of brown adipose tissue (BAT), also known as 'brown fat.'

Plasticell will screen Pierre Fabre's 'Nature Open Library' collection, one of the most important private plant libraries in the world, numbering more than 15,000 phytochemical extracts, to identify natural products that increase the metabolic activity and other specific functions of BAT. In addition, Plasticell scientists may collaborate with Pierre Fabre botanists, phytochemists and regulatory specialists in the further development of products.

The collaboration will initially focus on screening extracts derived from the edible parts of plants, with the aim of developing functional foods or nutraceuticals.

'This first collaboration with the Nature Open Library in the UK demonstrates that our initiative of open innovation can really promote new uses of plant extracts in many areas or domains, worldwide. We are confident and will do our best with Plasticell's team to succeed in this project,' said Laurent Audoly, Director R&D, Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals.

'Obesity is the leading preventable cause of death; however, only a handful of drugs exist to treat this condition. These have at best modest efficacy and potentially serious side-effects. We aim to discover safe natural products that act on a newly discovered subtype of adipose tissue to increase the body's energy expenditure, promoting weight loss without dieting and exercise,' commented Dr Yen Choo, the Chairman of Plasticell.

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