Variants in the CREBRF gene and obesity (Case 2383)

Principal Investigator:


Stephen T. McGarvey
Professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health
Brown University

Providence, RI

Brief Description:

The technology is a biomarker for predicting genetic risk for obesity and may be useful as a tool in drug discovery for personalizing pharmacotherapeutic approaches to treating obesity. According to the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, approximately 30% of the global population is either obese or overweight, making obesity treatment and prevention an important global need.


As a genetic variant-based diagnostic capable of predicting genetic risk for obesity, the technology may carve out a niche in the global genetic testing market. The global genetic testing market is forecast to reach $7.4 billion USD by 2020 and is driven in large part by the rising incidence of genetic diseases, a growing awareness of the benefits of early diagnosis, and a shifting focus of the healthcare community towards an emphasis on personalized medicine. Key players in the genetic testing market include Abbott Laboratories, Roche Diagnostics Corp, Quest Diagnostics Inc, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and others. Compared to currently-utilized obesity predictor biomarkers such as the FTO gene and other common variants associated with Body Mass Index (BMI), the strength of association of the technology’s genetic variant with BMI is much stronger. Additionally, the technology can be a tool in drug discovery for personalizing pharamacotherapeutic approaches for treating obesity. The global obesity treatment market is forecast to reach $15.6 billion USD by 2024 and is driven by key factors such as an increasing trend in sedentary lifestyles, physical inactivity, and unhealthy food habits. Key players in the obesity treatment market include Allergan Plc, Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Medtronic, Novo Nordisk A/S, and others.


The technology meets several unmet needs. The technology addresses the unmet needs of pharmacogenetic approaches to obesity risk diagnosis, personalization of pharmacotherapeutic approaches to treating obesity, and new obesity drug discovery. Potential customers for the technology include pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, hospitals, biomedical researchers, and veterinarians.




PCT application PCT/US2016/050304 is pending.



Patent Information:
Drug Delivery
For Information, Contact:
Margaret Shabashevich,
Manager of Operations
Office of Industry Engagement & Commercial Venturing
Brown University
Stephen Mcgarvey
Daniel Weeks
Ranjan Deka
Nicola Hawley
Ryan Lee Minster
Zsolt Urban
Chi-Ting Su
Erin Kershaw
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