Is there a magic pill? Ozempic and 9 other potential weight loss innovations

With obesity a growing concern worldwide, clinicians and health officials are scratching their heads as to what appropriate and sustainable lines of treatment there are. Obesity, along with other non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension, has major implications for healthcare systems. 

Apart from expensive and hazardous surgery, the other option is weight-loss drugs. These have understandably hit the market with huge aplomb. Losing weight through the so-called “traditional” means of diet and exercise has failed miserably for millions of people.

Weight loss drugs Wegovy and Ozempic are self-administered weekly injectables. They mimic a human hormone called GLP-1. This hormone is released in the gut in response to eating and signals fullness much quicker. Generally, semaglutide has been used in treating Type 2 diabetes, but is effective in addressing obesity. 

The drugs are quite complex to use, and come with a hefty price tag. Indeed, the lowest price for a month’s supply of semaglutide at the maximum dose for weight loss is $804 in the US. 

This is why the field is ripe for new and improved ways to treat obesity 

Introducing startups like Fracty, Health. This biotech company aims to simplify treatment, reduce cost, and ensure the longevity of results. Indeed, with weight loss drugs like Ozempic, once someone stops taking the ‘dose’, the weight piles back, and usually with interest. 

Fractyl Health has developed a treatment for Type 2 diabetes with uses for weight control. It is hoped that this could be a ‘one-and-done’ treatment that lasts for years. Essentially, the company aims to use gene therapy to deliver an artificial gene to the pancreas to continuously produce the GLP-1 hormone. 

Gene therapy is a fascinating and exciting field for biotech companies and lifescience entrepreneurs. In this instance, the treatment usesinactivated viruses to carry a therapeutic gene to pancreatic cells. Viruses are used because of their natural ability to deliver genetic material to cells. 

What opportunities exist for biotech in sustainable weightloss interventions?

The bottom line is that innovative treatment is needed to tackle obesity. Many things cause this disease; biotech can consider numerous ways to contribute to treatment. Broadly, biotech can leverage advancements in genetics, microbiome research, pharmaceuticals and personalized medicine. Possibilities include: 

  1. Precision medicine and genetic testing

Biotech can use genetic testing to identify individuals’ genetic predispositions to weight gain and obesity. There’s an opportunity to develop personalized weight loss plans and interventions based on genetic profiles to optimize outcomes.

  1. Microbiome modulation

Research and development interventions that target the gut microbiome to influence metabolism and weight regulation look promising. This could involve probiotics, prebiotics or microbiome-based therapies. 

  1. Pharmaceutical innovations

Drug discovery that targets specific biological pathways involved in appetite regulation, fat metabolism and energy expenditure should be invested in. These drugs, combined with lifestyle changes to enhance weight loss efforts, may be effective in the long term. 

  1. Nutrigenomics

Biotech companies can study the interaction between nutrients and genes to tailor dietary recommendations based on a person’s genetic makeup. Personalized nutrition plans could be designed. 

  1. Neuroscience and brain-machine interfaces

Lifescience innovators could investigate how the brain processes hunger and satiety signals. Interventions could, for example, use brain-machine interfaces or neurostimulation to regulate appetite and promote healthier eating behaviors. 

  1. Cellular and gene therapies

Cellular therapies, which include adipose-derived stem cells, could target fat tissue and promote healthy weight loss. Gene therapies that modify genes related to metabolism and fat storage present significant opportunities for biotech entrepreneurs. 

  1. Bariatric surgery innovations

There is great potential for scientists to develop minimally invasive and safer bariatric surgery techniques. These could have fewer complications and be less expensive, making weight loss surgery a more accessible and sustainable option.

  1. Metabolic engineering

It is possible to engineer metabolic pathways to enhance energy expenditure and reduce fat storage. Biotech entrepreneurs could develop therapies that target specific metabolic processes to promote weight loss. 

  1. Combination therapies

Investigating the synergistic effects of combining different biotechnological approaches, such as drugs, genetic interventions and behavioral strategies to create sustainable weight loss interventions is a critical gap. 

No need to tighten your belts with Similari

There are a myriad of weight loss innovations with potential. They also come with ethical, safety and regulatory considerations. Rigorous research, clinical trials and collaboration between researchers and healthcare professionals are essential. 

With Similari’s AI-enabled intelligence platform, you can gauge the weightloss drug discovery and innovation landscape in granular detail. You’ll be able to forge ahead knowing what your competitors are up to, who has secured patents and who has concluded a trial. Similari trains itself over time and delivers top insights relevant to your industry. 

Book a demo today to find out how you can offload 90% of your research time with Similari. 

Why antimicrobial resistance is an opportunity for biotech

Antibiotic resistance has been pegged as one of the greatest threats to global public health. In the last decades, the emergence of multi-drug-resistant viral strains has resulted in growing healthcare expenses, chronic illness, disability and death. While there has been some movement regarding drug discovery and innovative treatment options, wily resistance mechanisms continue to emerge and spread. 

Antibiotic resistance is deadly. At least 700 000 deaths per year are attributable to antibiotic-resistant strains. This number is predicted to increase to 10 million deaths annually by 2050. 

Biotech has a major role to play in the discovery of innovative treatment options 

In particular, emerging antibiotic resistance markers must be identified, novel therapeutic methods developed and rapid detection methods prioritized. In addition, clinically relevant, antibiotic-resistant reference strains are needed in assay development and drug discovery. 

Ironically, the pharmaceutical industry has lessened its antibiotic production owing to economic constraints and growing biological resistance mechanisms. Humans have overused and misused these drugs, once considered miracles in safely and effectively treating infections. 

Biotech and life science entrepreneurs are ideally placed for the boom in R&D

Market Demand

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing global threat, and new antibiotics and other antimicrobial treatments are urgently needed. 


The challenge of antimicrobial resistance requires innovative solutions, which presents an opportunity for biotech and life science entrepreneurs. 

Several US undergraduate students at Stanford University initiated a biotech startup to develop new antibiotics for drug-resistant superbugs. 

The young biotech entrepreneurs decided to focus on two strains of bacteria resistant to almost every existing antibiotic. These strains also had high mortality rates – the Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii

The students designed a scientific plan that showcased molecular designs for new antibiotics, a plan to clinically test them and a budget for the project. They found that multi-drug resistant bacteria was a “huge area of need” but neglected by the pharmaceutical industry. This is because of a smaller market size, the expectation of low pricing and the development of further resistance. 

But, new antimicrobial resistance therapies have economic and health benefits

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that drug-resistant infections are responsible for $4.6 billion in treatment costs. By developing new treatments and therapies for antimicrobial resistance, biotech and life science entrepreneurs can significantly impact public health. 

Innovation will preserve other medical advances

Many medical advances, such as joint replacements, organ transplants and cancer therapy, depend on the ability to fight infections using antibiotics. Developing new antimicrobial agents can help preserve these medical advances by ensuring that infections can be effectively treated. 

There are mindblowing antimicrobial resistance treatments being explored

Some of these treatments and therapies against deadly pathogens include:

  1. Alternatives to new drugs

Alternatives to new antibiotic and antifungal drugs, such as vaccines to combat infections that can develop antimicrobial resistance, are being explored. In other words, infections can be prevented before they happen. 

  1. Futuristic non-antibiotic therapies

These therapies include stem cell AMPs, CRISP-Cas, probiotics and nanobiotics. 

  1. Peptides and complexes

Peptides and complexes are being explored as new therapies to combat multidrug-resistant bacteria. 

You can take informed risks with Similari

Developing antimicrobial resistance therapies presents a major opportunity for life sciences organizations with an eye toward lucrative innovation. But in order to avoid patent thickets, duplication and overlap and to help identify the true white spaces, you need the right insights management tools. 

Similari can equip you with the tools to take informed risks regarding antimicrobial resistance drug discovery, research and development.  Using Similari’s AI engine, you can keep abreast of the latest emerging news, developments and insights in the sector.  Get in touch for a demo today to find out how Similari can help you identify lucrative gaps. 

How synthetic biology could change therapeutics

Life sciences is, frankly, an awe-inspiring space. Enter something that can sustainably and ethically engineer and redesign biological systems that don’t yet exist in nature: synthetic biology. Synthetic biology can enable the biosynthesis of drugs that are too complicated and expensive to produce with chemical engineering or drugs that rely on rare plants. There is, thus, enormous scope for the biotech industry to apply this to a range of therapeutic applications. Let’s explore more.

Synthetic biology will reshape our relationship with nature via bio-based products

As climate change threatens human life on Earth, people are reconsidering their relationship with the living world. Synthesis is a powerful approach to learning about and building in step with natural processes. 

In a briefing paper, the World Economic Forum noted that synthetic biology uses science and engineering expertise to design biologically-based parts, novel devices and systems, and redesign existing, natural, biological systems. 

The paper says that the broadest impact area is manufacturing bio-based products and the numerous applications of these products in health and well-being. It doesn’t end there – entrepreneurs are looking at opportunities in the food and feed, industrial chemicals and biofuel industries. 

Synthetic biology will drastically improve healthcare

Synthetic biology has tremendous potential to improve healthcare. Related devices can provide diagnostic tools and enable the design of novel strategies for treating cancer, immune diseases, metabolic disorders,  and infectious diseases, as well as the production of cheap drugs. It presents a significant opportunity for biotech entrepreneurs to develop new treatments and therapies that can improve patient outcomes. 

Synthetic biology is good for the environment

Synthetic biology enables circular manufacturing processes, transforming waste materials into valuable products. Using synthetic biology techniques, biotech entrepreneurs can develop innovative ways to convert carbon-rich waste materials into valuable products. This reduces the need for new raw materials. 

Synthetic biology can be used to improve drug discovery

Synthetic biology improves drug discovery by reorienting all steps of the drug discovery process, speeding up drug target discovery, enabling biosynthesis of drugs, and using synthetic gene circuits for drug target functional screening. Here’s how: 

Target discovery

It can speed up drug target discovery by using genetically-engineered cells to control the localization, timing, and dosage of therapeutic activities in response to specific disease biomarkers. Biotech entrepreneurs can therefore develop new tools and methods for studying disease mechanisms at a molecular level.


Synthetic biology can enable the biosynthesis of drugs that are too complicated and expensive to produce with chemical engineering or drugs that rely on rare, sometimes endangered plants. Biotech entrepreneurs could develop new methods for synthesizing lead compounds and drugs to treat diseases. 

Phenotypic screening

An exciting component of this novel process is that it can be used for drug target functional screening. It uses screening by using synthetic gene circuits capable of biological sensing and computation of signals derived from intracellular or extracellular biomarkers. By using synthetic biology techniques, biotech entrepreneurs can develop new methods for identifying drug targets and designing new treatment strategies for diseases. 

Synthetic biology strategies are investment ready

They are a rapidly emerging interdisciplinary research field built on the foundations of molecular biology and genetic engineering. We’re at a critical juncture.

This is where Similari adds value

Similari can equip you with the tools to take informed risks in the ever-growing field of synthetic biology. Similari’s deep data points meaningfully inform your R&D decision-making. Get in touch for a demo today to find out how Similari can help you identify true white spaces in the synthetic biology landscape.