The team at Savant applauds incubatee, Signal Bioscience, for successfully completing its seed fund project. It has established a solid proof of concept for its ASIS-2 fat-burning product.

Signal founder and Chief Science Officer Dr. Karim Dhanani (PhD Biochemistry) was awarded R500 000 of Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) seed funding from the Crafdt and Design Institute (CDI) to prove the concept that it is possible to nudge signaling pathways at a cellular level beneficially by using non-nutritional dietary compounds. He discovered that a number of molecules used synergistically have a beneficial impact on the base metabolic rate, and this formulation is called ASIS-2. This product can now be marketed as a diabetes preventative or a stimulant free weight management supplement.

Dr. Dhanani states, “There are over forty thousand distinctly annotated chemical components in the human diet, spanning 9 orders of magnitude. It has long been thought that some of these play an important role in health, and Signal aims to identify them and harness their effects.”

Savant Signal ASIS-2 seed fund trial results

Figure 1. In the human study, the SB-AMP1 product caused the participants’ BMR to increase higher than that of the placebo. This correlated with sustained fat loss and muscle increases, exceeding what is expected through diet and exercise alone.

ASIS-2 addresses two major segments of the nutritional supplement market: the obesity market, and the health and fitness conscious market. The nutritional supplement market in South Africa is valued at R2,9 billion, with an annual growth rate of 7,7%. Within this market the most sought-after products relate to weight management. 51% of South Africans consider themselves overweight, 17% currently use some form of daily diet supplement. The market for weight management supplements alone, is approximately R826 million in South Africa. Globally, more than 1,6 billion people are overweight, with 670 million obese. In 2016, in the USA, the vitamins and dietary supplements market grew by 5% reaching sales of R370,2 billion. The weight management supplement market in the USA, is estimated to be R92.5 Bn. The market size is significant, both locally and globally.

There are over forty thousand distinctly annotated chemical components in the human diet

Karim DhananiSignal CSO

There are over forty thousand distinctly annotated chemical components in the human diet, spanning 9 orders of magnitudeSignal has also recently had two products registered by DAFF for use in companion animals. The global companion animal health market was valued at approximately USD12.7bn in 2016 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% to 2025. In South Africa, the market is estimated to be worth R5bn and growing at 1-3% per year.

Now that Signal has demonstrated that its methodology and concept is effective, the company is looking for marketing opportunities for its products as well as additional funding to develop a more effective predictive model for the in-silico screening of small molecules.