INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (April 11, 2023) – – VisionTech Angels, among the Midwest’s most active angel investing networks, has invested $242,000 in Adipo Therapeutics, with 29 individual members participating in the round. With the investment, Adipo has closed its seed round, raising $2.8 million with participation from VisionTech Angels, Purdue Ventures, Elevate Ventures, IU Ventures, Racine Medical Angels, and other angel investors.
Adipo, a pre-clinical stage company seeking to transform treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity, was founded in 2016 by Meng Deng, Ph.D., an associate professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Materials Engineering at Purdue University. Adipo’s breakthrough technology stems from Deng’s strong commitment and interdisciplinary collaboration in the development of biomaterials-based translational technologies for cellular and regenerative engineering. The company is led by CEO Karen Wurster, who spent 25 years with Eli Lilly developing, launching and commercializing blockbuster diabetes treatments prior to joining Adipo in 2020.
Adipo’s novel method of action seeks to fundamentally transform how type 2 diabetes and obesity are managed by changing energy-storing white fat cells into energy-burning brown fat cells. The metamorphosis of adipose tissue through browning has the potential to use the body’s own physiology to increase energy expenditure, reduce adiposity and improve insulin resistance.
Commenting on the announcement, VisionTech Executive Director Ben Pidgeon said the group’s investors were impressed by the enormity of the technology’s human impact and market potential in reversing serious conditions that have reached epidemic proportions in the United States and globally. “By 2025, 37 million American will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes while 64 percent of the U.S. population will be either overweight or obese. Both conditions often lead to complications that include heart disease, stroke, blindness, and death. Adipo’s goal to use the body’s fat to reverse course and help people live healthier lives would be a tremendous breakthrough.”
He added, “Adipo is initially targeting a segment of the U.S. type 2 diabetes treatment market that involves injections and is estimated at $1.7 billion. The platform technology can potentially be leveraged to treat obesity and other metabolic disorders, significantly increasing market value.”
Adipo is VisionTech Angels’ 63rd portfolio company and the first of 2023. Wurster is pleased with the strong support her company has received from VisionTech and other Indiana-based venture groups, which helps advance a much-needed solution for people living with type 2 diabetes. “I am thrilled to be leading a team to realize the potential of this groundbreaking science to improve the treatment of millions of people suffering with type 2 diabetes and obesity. We are appreciative of the support we have received as an Indiana startup from VisionTech, Elevate Ventures, IU Ventures, and Purdue Foundry and look forward to moving our product to the next phase of development.”
Adipo is using the funds to continue to de-risk their technology, while preparing for a Series A fundraising round that is anticipated to begin later this year.
Founded in 2009, VisionTech is a privately held company that links investors to high-potential, early-growth companies. Based in Indianapolis, VisionTech’s angel investing network includes more than 130 active members across Indiana and Ohio. As of November 2022, 175 VisionTech member investors have deployed more than $24.8 million in capital, investing in 63 portfolio companies from across the United States. Membership is open to accredited investors. Those interested in joining are encouraged to contact VisionTech.
About Adipo Therapeutics
Founded in 2016, Adipo Therapeutics LLC, is a privately held biotech company focused on localized conversion of energy-storing white fat to energy-burning brown fat for the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Adipo’s lead product, ADPO-002-NP, is in pre-clinical development. For additional information, visit our website.