Our patent portfolio covers use of several natural compounds including ursolic acid and tomatidine. Ursolic acid is a natural dietary compound from apples and several other edible fruits and herbs. Tomatidine is a natural dietary compound from tomatoes.
We discovered ursolic acid and tomatidine by searching for small molecules whose mRNA expression signatures negatively correlate to mRNA expression signatures of human skeletal muscle atrophy. Through extensive in vivo testing, we found that ursolic acid and tomatidine act directly on skeletal muscle, altering muscle gene expression in a way that increases muscle quality, strength, muscle mass and exercise capacity. As a result of these effects, ursolic acid and tomatidine protect against muscle atrophy and weakness during aging, malnutrition, inactivity and chronic disease. Furthermore, by increasing skeletal muscle (the major site of calorie burning in our bodies), ursolic acid and tomatidine also increase resting energy expenditure; this leads to a reduction in body fat and protection against obesity and obesity-related illnesses such as type 2 diabetes. For more information on the science behind ursolic acid and tomatidine, please see our publications.
Based on these findings, we obtained strong patents covering uses of ursolic acid and tomatidine in the US and several other major markets. Because ursolic acid and tomatidine target evolutionary conserved mechanisms in skeletal muscle, they have commercial applications in both human health and animal health. Thus, we are now working to translate our patented discoveries into nutrition products for humans, companion animals and production animals.