Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Syntis Bio has announced the launch of developments for oral therapies targeting a range of metabolic diseases, from obesity to rare conditions such as homocystinuria (HCU) and maple syrup urine disease (MSUD).

By leveraging the small intestine’s role in metabolic control, digestion and drug absorption, Syntis Bio is progressing with a portfolio of promising programmes.

In 2023 the company secured $15.5m in a seed funding round from investors including Safar Partners, Touchdown Ventures, BOLD Capital Partners, Colorcon Ventures and Portal Innovations.

The company’s lead obesity programme, SYNT-101, is currently undergoing human trials, while other rare disease assets are moving towards investigational new drug (IND)-enabling studies.

It is a once-a-day oral medication designed to replicate the effects of gastric bypass surgery by temporarily obstructing nutrient uptake in the duodenum, the small intestine’s upper part.

The drug aims to reroute nutrients to the lower small intestine, enhancing controlled absorption and triggering a series of satiety hormones such as GLP-1 and PYY.

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Preliminary safety, tolerability and efficacy data from human trials of a SYNT-101 formulation are expected by the end of 2024, which will inform an IND application to the US Food and Drug Administration planned for 2025.

Syntis CEO Rahul Dhanda stated: “We are excited by the encouraging results seen so far in human trials for our SYNT-101 programme, which may offer an alternative or complementary obesity therapy in a convenient, accessible once-daily pill.

“By unlocking the small intestine’s therapeutic value, we are pioneering more effective treatments across a vast spectrum of conditions — from widespread issues affecting millions, like obesity and diabetes, to rare conditions such as HCU and MSUD, where thousands suffer and options are scarce.”

The company expanded its pipeline through the acquisition of engineered enzymes from Codexis in April 2024.

Syntis Bio will initially focus on the development of orally administered therapies for HCU (SYNT-202) and MSUD (SYNT-203), both of which lack approved disease-modifying therapies.

After successful non-human primate studies, the company anticipates an IND submission for one of these candidates.