Health and wellness start-up Seraphina Therapeutics has secured $5.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Domain Associates, to develop its newly-discovered potential essential fatty acid present in butter.
Based in San-Diego, the firm claims the pentadecanoic acid – also referred to as C15:0 – is the first new potential essential fatty acid to be discovered in 90 years that demonstrates broad health benefits.
C15:0, a trace odd-chain saturated fatty acid found in butter and some fish and plants, reportedly demonstrates properties that actively foster cardiometabolic and liver fitness.
With its funding, Seraphina Therapeutics plans to advance C15:0 as a dietary supplement and food fortifier that strengthens cells, enhances mitochondrial function and nutritionally guards against age-related break down.
The company also intends to make C15:0 available as a vegan-friendly dietary supplement in Autumn 2020 and as a food fortifier in early 2021.
The discovery, published in Scientific Report, 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.
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 optimising cardiometabolic health,” said Dr Stephanie Venn-Watson.
She added: “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.”
Dr Eric Venn-Watson, co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics, added: “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.
“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 ground-breaking discoveries with the help of our recent fundraise.”
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