Playing turnabout

NGM Biopharm seeks diabetes drug targets to reproduce effects of gastric banding

The dramatic effects of gastric banding surgery on diabetes published two years ago raised the question of whether the procedure could obviate the need for new diabetes drugs. But turnabout is fair play, as researchers are using models to understand how the surgery changes the proteins expressed by the body - and thus how to mimic its effects with drugs.

Last week, The Column Group, Rho Ventures, Prospect Ventures and Tichenor Ventures, along with other undisclosed investors, invested $51 million in a series B round for a company doing just that - NGM Biopharmaceuticals Inc.

NGM's models mimic the physiological effects of bariatric surgery seen in humans, including a drop in blood glucose and normalization of HbA1c and glucose tolerance. The biotech hopes to identify the mechanisms and targets involved in

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