Scientific research has demonstrated that Bone Morphogenetic Protein-7 (BMP-7) is effective in joint cartilage formation, inhibition and reversal of organ fibrosis in the kidney, heart, and lung due to injury or disease, and diabetic related diseases related to glucose metabolism.
Ember is pursuing the use of BMP-7 for disease modification (cartilage building) in osteoarthritis (OA). Currently, the OA market primarily involves the use of pain related therapeutics as front line therapies. There is no effective product on the market that actually reduces osteoarthritis disease by re-growing the missing cartilage that is the causal factor of OA related pain. The OA pain therapeutics market was valued at $4.9B in 2010 and sales are forecasted to reach $6.18B by 2017.
This market is expected to grow because of increasing awareness of OA and increasing diagnosis rates, a growing elderly population, increasing cases of obesity (obesity and OA are related with approximately 37% of OA patients also suffering from obesity).
Chronic Kidney Disease:
Ember is pursing the use of BMP-7 to reverse and improve organ related fibrosis. Reversing organ related fibrosis reduces the need for extreme treatments such as dialysis or organ transplants. Currently, there are over 31 million patients in the United States with CKD. Of these patients, over 550,000 patients are at end-stage renal disease and over 114,000 are on dialysis.
Alport Syndrome is a genetic kidney disease, leading to organ failure, which is estimated to affect approximately 5,500 people in the United States. Because of the limited patient pool, research into a treatment for Alport Syndrome may qualify as an orphan disease which allows for rapid approval and abridged trials.
An additional mission for Ember is to revolutionize the treatment of metabolic diseases through brown fat biology. Transformative therapies may be possible with BMP-7 for the treatment of insulin resistance and related metabolic diseases, including type II diabetes and obesity. Preclinical studies in rodents have shown that BMP-7 triggers the differentiation of pre-adipocyte progenitor cells to commit to a Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) lineage (Tseng, 2008). BAT tissue is affiliated with higher energy expenditure and corresponding metabolic disease benefits, which allows for potential treatments for metabolic diseases related to glucose tolerance.
Intellectual Property Rights:
Ember acquired over 450 patents and the rights to BMP-7 related research, and completed clinical trials and materials from Stryker Corporation. Ember has assembled a management team and a scientific advisory board with extensive experience in the study of osteoarthritis, organ fibrosis, therapeutic development, and BMP-7 technology.