Researchers from PolyU and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) have jointly made a ground-breaking drug discovery in the treatment of multiple metabolic diseases related to obesity and insulin resistance including diabetes and fatty liver disease.


The drug, ABarginase, opens a new path for safe, long-lasting cures to multiple obesity-related diseases simultaneously through an ingenious treatment mechanism – arginine starvation. Currently, patients often have to take multiple medications for these inter-related diseases and are hence more prone to the potential risks of polypharmacy.


The research team is led by Prof. Thomas Leung Yun-chung, Professor, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology and Lo Ka Chung Charitable Foundation Professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences of PolyU, and Prof. Alisa Shum Sau-wun, Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine of CUHK.


Patent applications for the invention having been filed in multiple countries, the research team is now scaling up production for the manufacture of ABarginase at Good Manufacturing Practices grade in preparation for conducting clinical trials.


ABarginase recently won one of the two prestigious Grand Prizes awarded to Hong Kong in this year’s International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva – the International Federation of Inventors’ Associations Best Invention Award.