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Zafgen, Inc. Named One of the “Fierce 15” Leading Biotech Companies of 2009

Zafgen, Inc. Named One of the “Fierce 15” Leading Biotech Companies of 2009

CAMBRIDGE, MA, June 29, 2009 –Zafgen, Inc., a private venture-backed biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel obesity therapeutics, today announced that it has been named to FierceBiotech’s 7th annual “Fierce 15” list, designating it as one of the top 15 emerging companies in biotechnology.

The editors of FierceBiotech evaluated hundreds of privately-held firms based on a variety of factors, including company vision, revenue potential, quality of deals, strength of technology, partnerships, and competitive market position. Zafgen was honored as one of this year’s “fiercest” because of its new, innovative approach to fighting obesity.

“Obesity has already attracted a host of would-be developers, many of whom found the hard way just how difficult it can be to develop a drug to combat fat. Zafgen, though, is tackling the problem from an entirely novel direction, looking to prove that a drug can be just as effective as bariatric surgery in eliminating a big chunk of body weight. The developer has a long way to go, but it is beating a very ambitious path,” said John Carroll, editor of FierceBiotech.

An internationally recognized daily newsletter reaching more than 65,000 biotech and pharma industry professionals, FierceBiotech provides subscribers with a quick authoritative briefing on the day’s top stories, with a special focus on drug discovery and clinical trials.

“Obesity is one of the biggest healthcare issues today and Zafgen is the only player in the field developing therapeutics that directly target and shrink fat cells,” said Thomas Hughes, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer. “Zafgen is a small company with a big story to tell. Inclusion in FierceBiotech’s ‘Fierce 15’ illustrates how breakthrough ideas, even when being advanced by a small ‘virtual’ biotech company, remain the key currency in today’s biopharmaceutical industry.”

The Fierce 15 celebrates the spirit of being “fierce” – championing innovation and creativity, even in the face of intense competition. The complete list of ‘Fierce 15’ companies is available in today’s issue of FierceBiotech and on the FierceBiotech Web site at

About Zafgen, Inc.
Zafgen is the first biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing novel obesity therapeutics that directly target and shrink fat tissue to help the body regain and sustain a lean, healthy state. Adipose tissue (fat) is composed primarily of cells that store unused calories, as well as an extensive network of blood vessels that support the tissue. The nature of the tissue and the interplay between fat cells and the supporting blood vessels play a critical and active role in determining the overall size of the fat tissue, and therefore, an individual’s weight. Zafgen’s groundbreaking approach targets obesity at its root cause by safely manipulating and shrinking the blood supply to fat tissue, driving the loss of fat and a return to a more healthy body weight. Zafgen's leadership and scientific advisors include the leading experts in obesity, metabolic disorders and medicinal chemistry. Founded in 2005, the company is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, visit