Seraphina Therapeutics, Inc., announced today its Series A fundraise of $5.5 million, led by Domain Associates, and reveals it is the first to discover pentadecanoic acid, the first potential essential fatty acid to be discovered in 90 years, with proven multiple health benefits in liver health, ageing, cholesterol, and cellular wellbeing.
Pentadecanoic acid, also known as C15:0, is a trace odd-chain saturated fatty acid found in butter, fish, and some plants. In tests, 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.
The company plans to use the funds 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, and will make C15:0 available as a vegan-friendly dietary supplement starting in the fall of 2020 and food fortifiers starting in early 2021.
This discovery, published today in the peer-reviewed Scientific Reports, 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.
“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.”