Seraphina discovers new active dietary saturated fat

22 May 2020 | News

Burgeoning startup reveals first potential essential fatty acid discovered in 90 years shown in multiple studies to have properties that promote cardiometabolic health

US based Seraphina Therapeutics, Inc., a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the development of beneficial essential fatty acids and micronutrients, announced it is the first to discover pentadecanoic acid, also referred to as C15:0, as an active dietary saturated fat demonstrating evidence of broad health benefits across multiple studies. C15:0, a trace odd-chain saturated fatty acid found in butter, is the first potential essential fatty acid to be discovered in 90 years, demonstrating promotion of cellular integrity and function in human cell systems and in vivo models. This discovery, published today in the peer-reviewed Scientific Reports (a Nature research journal), was part of an extensive series of studies conducted over the past three years, led by Dr. Stephanie Venn-Watson, CEO and co-founder of Seraphina Therapeutics.

Along with the discovery of this groundbreaking new potential essential fatty acid, Seraphina Therapeutics also announced today its Series A fundraise of $5.5 million, led by Domain Associates. It plans to use this fundraise to advance C15:0 as dietary supplements and food fortifiers to address C15:0 deficiencies and to strengthen cells, enhance mitochondrial function and nutritionally guard against age-related breakdown. The company aims to make C15:0 available as a vegan-friendly dietary supplement starting in the fall of 2020 and food fortifiers starting in early 2021.

C15:0, a trace odd-chain saturated fatty acid present in butter and some fish and plants, is the first new potential essential fatty acid discovered in nearly a century to actively foster cardiometabolic and liver fitness. Daily oral supplementation with pure C15:0 for approximately 12 weeks supported healthier cholesterol and glucose homeostasis in obesity models and advanced hepatic form and vitality in liver disease models. In human cell systems, C15:0 also aided cellular homeostasis, helped mitochondrial function and activated receptors known to orchestrate metabolism and further cellular wellbeing.

Over the past 40 years, whole fat dairy intake has decreased dramatically in an effort to decrease dietary saturated fat intake and associated heart disease. Yet, during this time, the prevalence of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic liver diseases has only increased. Seraphina Therapeutics' studies on C15:0, paired with supporting studies, suggest that lowered population-wide dietary intake of whole fat dairy products may be causing C15:0 deficiencies.

"The world is now understanding that not all fats are bad—some are good and some may in fact be essential to optimizing cardiometabolic health," said Dr. Venn-Watson. "By effectively removing whole fat dairy from our diets, a 40-year experiment has been performed, including children who grew up in a fat-free environment. This discovery by Seraphina Therapeutics better enables the larger scientific community to fully understand how essential odd-chain saturated fatty acids may be to sustaining global health."

"We are thrilled to announce not only the discovery of how well C15:0 specifically targets cell-based mechanisms that are known to cause our observed health benefits, but also to receive the backing and support of industry-leading investors in our Series A funding," said Dr. Eric Venn-Watson, co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. "Our studies support that C15:0 may be a goldilocks dietary odd-chain saturated fatty acid providing broad health benefits expected of an essential fatty acid. We look forward to producing additional groundbreaking discoveries with the help of our recent fundraise."

The current study is the first to demonstrate C15:0 as an active saturated fatty acid with broad health benefits and as a potential essential fatty acid needed to stem the globally pervasive health detriments related to improper nutrition. 

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