Boehringer Ingelheim, the Institute of Molecular Health Science and the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health of the ETH Zurich have entered into a diabetes and obesity research collaboration.

The four-year, industry-academia collaboration will focus on investigating three cell types, which as a result of their dominant role in metabolic homoeostasis are thought to add to the onset of obesity and diabetes.

ETH Zurich research corporate senior vice president Professor Roland Siegwart said; "We are excited to engage in this research collaboration to investigate basic mechanism of metabolic disease and possible treatments, which also reflects the strategic initiatives of ETH Zurich in the area of heath science."

Boehringer Ingelheim and the ETH Zurich have defined four initial research projects, including investigating the function of surface proteins and signalling pathways of neuroendocrine cells in the pancreatic islets and the intestine, and exploration of brown fat tissue development.

The partners expect results from the research studies may either enable the design of new drug candidates for clinical testing, or optimise the application of medical treatments so as to maximise clinical benefit in specific patient populations.

Boehringer research corporate senior vice president Professor Wolfgang Rettig said; "This collaboration will provide new insights into the pathophysiology of diabetes and obesity and will further bolster our efforts to find innovative medicines for the treatment of these prevalent diseases."

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