Brightseed Announces Preclinical Data For Phytonutrients Targeting Liver and Metabolic Health

Jan. 5, 2021 14:00 UTC

 Brightseed Announces Preclinical Data For Phytonutrients Targeting Liver and Metabolic Health

 AI-Powered Discovery Shows Novel Biological Mechanism, Moves Into Clinical Trials in 2021


SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Brightseed, a biosciences company and creator of Forager®, an artificial intelligence (A.I.) that maps the hidden world of phytonutrients and their impact on human health, today announced preclinical data from its first major discovery targeting liver and metabolic health. Phytonutrients are plant compounds that can provide significant health benefits for humans, yet currently less than 1% of these compounds are known to science. Forager has analyzed approximately 700,000 compounds in the edible and medicinal plant kingdom for their health properties, and is on track to surpass 10 million by 2025.

Using a computational approach with data from Brightseed’s plant compound library, Forager identified two natural compounds with promising bioactive function, N-trans caffeoyltyramine (NCT) and N-trans-feruloyltyramine (NFT). Researchers determined that these compounds acted through a novel biological mechanism governing the accumulation and clearance of liver fat. The preclinical data was presented in the fall of 2020 as a poster session at The Liver Meeting® Digital Experience hosted by American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, and published as abstract #1679 in Hepatology: Vol 72, No S1.

“We founded Brightseed with the thesis that the natural plant world is an incredibly rich and uncharted source of powerful small molecules for health,” said Dr. Lee Chae, Brightseed’s co-founder and CTO. “With A.I. and machine learning, we can now navigate this underexplored world at a pace, scale, and level of accuracy that were previously unattainable. These preclinical findings provide compelling data for a natural solution that activates a specific human biological target to address an emerging global health crisis.”

In preclinical studies, NCT and NFT acted as potent HNF4a activators, promoting fat clearance from the steatotic livers of mice fed a high fat diet, by inducing lipophagy. HNF4a is a central metabolic regulator that is impaired by elevated levels of fat in the bloodstream resulting from chronic overeating. Administered in proper doses, NCT and NFT restored proper function of this central metabolic regulator, including maintaining healthy lipid and sugar levels in the bloodstream to normalize organ function. Their activities were confirmed using a cell-based human insulin promoter activation assay. Forager found NCT and NFT in over 80 common edible plant sources.

“The potent activity of these natural compounds on the central metabolic regulator has never been observed in scientific literature,” said Dr. Carol Lynn Berseth, Senior Vice President of Medical and Scientific Affairs at Brightseed. “In addition, the clearance of fat cells from the liver is a hugely promising action, even in preclinical stages. Brightseed enables health and wellness brands to identify new natural solutions much more efficiently.”

The liver is the body’s primary metabolic organ and a healthy liver helps avoid metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is a complex metabolic disorder that causes fat buildup in the liver, which impacts approximately one quarter of adults in the U.S. Although there are many risk factors for developing NAFLD, the disease is closely linked to obesity, which afflicts more than 40% of the U.S. adult population. There are no approved therapeutics to treat this major health condition.

On the basis of their potent in vivo effects and excellent safety profile, these new agonists identified by Forager appear to be strong candidates for nutraceuticals and a starting point for therapeutics that can help maintain liver health and a healthy metabolism. These findings could have profound implications for more than two billion people worldwide who are at elevated risk of chronic metabolic diseases. Brightseed will identify the lead compound candidate to move forward to clinical trials in 2021.


Brightseed enables a healthier future by illuminating and activating the connections between plants and people. Despite centuries of wisdom proving the critical role plants play in supporting human health, the majority of small molecules in the plant kingdom remain unexplored. Using computational biology and machine learning, Brightseed’s Forager® is the first and only artificial intelligence designed to uncover how plant small molecules impact human biology. Forager’s discoveries support major areas of human health, including metabolism, digestion, cognition, and immunity. Discoveries undergo clinical evaluation, regulatory review, and commercial development to deliver powerful, yet natural solutions. Interested organizations can contact Brightseed by reaching out to

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains "forward-looking statements" that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and include statements that are not historical facts regarding Brightseed’s product candidates and related clinical trials, the timing of completion of clinical trials, the timing and completion of regulatory reviews, outcomes of clinical trials of our product candidates, the potential uses and benefits of our product candidates, and our product development efforts. Investors are cautioned that all such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, the risks that the FDA will not approve any of our products, risks related to our products, expected product benefits not being realized, clinical and regulatory expectations and plans not being realized, new regulatory developments and requirements, risks related to the FDA approval process including the receipt of regulatory approvals, the results and timing of clinical trials, patient acceptance of Brightseed’s products, the manufacturing and commercialization of Brightseed's products, and other risks. Brightseed assumes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements contained in this release, except as required by law.


Brightseed Contact:
Rhonda Lesinski-Woolf
General Manager, Phytonutrients
415-965-7778 |

Media Contact:
Serene Buckley
Good Nature Ventures | 415-613-1580


Source: Brightseed

Back to news