The obesity epidemic has fueled a parallel epidemic in type-2 diabetes (T2D).

Medical management remains suboptimal and although there is wide consensus that the metabolic success of bariatric surgeries has shown to be effective in achieving significant rates of diabetes remission, they are not suitable for many T2D patients.

  • T2D leading cause of blindness, amputation and renal failure
  • Diabetes kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined – Every 7 seconds someone dies of diabetes
  • Having diabetes nearly doubles your chance of having a heart attack
  • Surgery is very invasive and not reversible
  • Cost prohibitively expensive
  • Other post-operative complications


LuCI™ is a repurposed pill that adheres to the gastrointestinal (GI) track for controlled GI targeting. The company was founded in 2019 to commercialize the research from the labs of Dr. Karp and Dr. Tavakkoli at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, who were fascinated by the rapid resolution of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) that was seen in patients undergoing gastric bypass. They hypothesized that a repurposed drug was capable of adhering to the proximal bowel, and could replicate the effect of surgery. Their work has led to development of LuCI™ which in pre-clinical models has shown to modulate nutrient contact with the bowel mucosa and lower the glucose response, as confirmed in the group’s recent publication in Nature Materials. LuCI™ temporarily binds to the bowel and acts locally with no systemic absorption and likely limited side effects. “As well as having had a therapeutic utility in diabetes,” LuCI™ has unique qualities that may allow it to act as a platform for delivery of biologics to the GI tract.


Prior to the development of LuCI™, no orally administered alternative to GBP has been possible because harmful materials in the GI tract such as gastric acid and enzymes threatened to erode any orally administered substance. With LuCI™’s luminal binding, this may now be possible. The benefits include:

  • The release of a material that will adhere to the gastrointestinal tract, and will restrict the absorption of fats and glucose through the mucosa in the bowels, helping to reduce glucose levels
  • More financially feasible than GBP surgery
  • A reduction in risks and complications from GBP surgery


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