PEGylated Bilirubin for the treatment of Hyperlipidemia, Obesity, and Type II Diabetes


Project ID: D2018-40 



Obesity, a low-grade inflammatory disease, has affected more than 150 million people in the US. Obesity and its associated risk factors are a prelude to the development of type II diabetes that accounts for a vast majority of the 25.8 million diabetes cases in the US. Bilirubin, a yellow pigment produced during red blood cell break down, has proved to reduce the risk of developing Diabetes II. However, bilirubin is insoluble in water, and high level of bilirubin has found to be toxic. Bilirubin-based nanoparticles (BRNPs) has addressed the insolubility of bilirubin. While, white adipose tissue (WAT) expands during obesity and secretes adipokines that release inflammatory factors, Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) produces hormones that reduce inflammation along with high lipid burning capacity. There is very little known on how bilirubin affects WAT or other peripheral tissues and its lipid burning capacity.


Researchers at the University of Toledo have developed a novel composition and method for treating obesity and type II diabetes using PEGylated bilirubin that serves as a metabolic hormone flowing through blood vessels to lessen fat storage and improve adipocyte function. The PEGylated bilirubin acts as metabolic hormone controlling WAT tissue expansion and reducing the white adipose fat and insulin resistance by activating the browning of WAT. Further, the novel invention shows the direct effect of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) in recruiting a specific set of coregulators inducing mitochondrial function to decrease WAT size. Apart from lessening glucose intolerance, PEGylated bilirubin reduces cholesterol and triglycerides. The PEGylated bilirubin also increased ApoA1 which protective of the cardiovascular system.



The novel composition can treat type II diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease.



•       The novel invention provides the first report of PEGylated Bilirubin as a metabolic hormone.

•       Reduces white adipose fat size.

•       Reduces blood glucose

•       Reduces serum triglycerides (VLDL)

•       Increases blood HDL levels

•       MoA studies have been completed.

•       Preclinical analysis of PEG-BR have been completed

•       Reduces fatty liver

•       In vivo studies have been performed where obese animals were treated with PEG-BR.


IP Status: Patent Pending


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Yuriy Yatskiv
Licensing Associate
The University of Toledo
Terry Hinds
David Stec
Brown Adipose Tissue
Type II Diabetes
White Adipose Tissue