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FPWR Venture Philanthropy Program

FPWR's Venture Philanthropy program makes direct investments in early stage companies focused on advancing the development of new treatments to address some of the most challenging symptoms associated with PWS.

FPWR identifies and invests in companies with the aim of de-risking and accelerating drug development. Unlike venture capitalists, whose primary objective is a financial return, FPWR is willing to take on a higher-level of risk because our objective is to provide the assistance needed to develop new treatments for PWS.

Companies interested in funding may submit a preliminary application along with scientific detail on their work. Applications are reviewed by both scientific and biotech experts who provide a recommendation to FPWR's Venture Philanthropy Committee, comprised of individuals with highly relevant drug development expertise.

Investments to date:

Essentialis (now Soleno Therapeutics)

Soleno Therapeutics is developing novel therapeutics for rare diseases. Their lead drug, DCCR, has completed a phase 3 trial in PWS and shows promise in addressing hyperphagia, as well as several other symptoms such as aggressive/destructive behaviors, fat mass, and abnormal lipid profiles. The announcement of their topline results can be found here


Palobiofarma has a robust pipeline of promising drug candidates that are currently undergoing clinical development for a range of diseases, including cancer, respiratory, and metabolic disorders. FPWR’s philanthropic investment will be used to partially fund Palobiofarma's ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial to develop PBF-999 for the treatment of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). PBF-999 is a phosphodiesterase 10 inhibitor that has been evaluated in three previous clinical studies. Observations of an appetite-reducing effect have led Palobiofarma to design a clinical study to test this compound in adults with PWS to evaluate safety and efficacy in the reduction of hyperphagia.

Aardvark Therapeutics

Aardvark Therapeutics, Inc. is focused on small molecule therapeutics that activate innate homeostatic pathways. Their lead product, ARD-101,  has demonstrated safety and efficacy in a number of metabolic and inflammatory disease models and is now entering a Phase 2 study in Prader-Willi syndrome. ARD-101 is a first-in-class oral therapeutic that is gut restricted, yet conveys systemic effects via activation of gut peptide hormone secretion. 

Inversago Pharma

Inversago, purchased by Novo Nordisk in late 2023, is a leader in the development of peripherally acting CB1 receptor (CB1r) blocker therapies. 

Beryl Therapeutics

Beryl Therapeutics is an early-stage company focused on bone density/strength in PWS. Beryl has licensed two compounds, Oleoyl Serine (OS, HU639) and methyl-OS (M-OS, HU671), previously shown by FPWR-funded researcher, Yossi Tam, to improve bone density and strength in PWS models, and will be moving these compounds through the drug development pipeline.

Lipidio Pharmaceuticals

Focused on developing drugs to treat diseases associated with excess body fat and its lead program, GDD3898, is being investigated for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH),  Prader Willi syndrome (PWS) and anti-psychotic drug induced weight gain (AIWG).

Additional investments coming soon!

If you are interested in learning more about this program or possibly investing please contact Theresa Strong, Director of Research Programs.  Companies wishing to submit an application may complete this form and return to