Created by Drs. Joe Artiss and Cathy Jen, each Mirafit tablet taken with a meal can safely bind and remove nine grams of dietary fat or 81 fat calories, resulting in a reduction of approximately 3,500 calories per week, or the loss of one to one and a half pounds of body weight per week.
“Obesity and related medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and strokes have become epidemic,” said Jen, one of the principals of ArtJen Complexus USA, LLC, the Wayne State spin-off company she founded with Artiss in 2009 to manufacture and distribute Mirafit. “As a novel research breakthrough with no unwanted side effects, Mirafit has the potential to make a critical difference in body weight and blood lipid management.”
Meijer to sell Mirafit weight loss supplement
Jen, Professor and Chairwoman of Wayne State’s Department of Nutrition and Food Science, with Artiss, Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, discovered the fat-binding effect of the fiber while conducting research on Type II diabetes. Laboratory rats consuming a high-fat diet with the Mirafit supplement ceased to gain extra weight and showed no diabetic symptoms.
ArtJen has since emerged as a university tech transfer success story. After the Mirafit technology was licensed to ArtJen, the company joined Wayne State’s research and technology park, TechTown, where Jen and Artiss evolved from scientists into scientists/entrepreneurs.
“We didn’t know much about starting a company when Cathy and I founded ArtJen,” Artiss admitted. “TechTown was instrumental in educating us about the process and providing the support and resources we needed to get Mirafit into the marketplace.”
Artiss noted that TechTown’s “entrepreneurial champions” coached them in key areas — applying for and securing funds, identifying strategic partners and executing ArtJen’s business plan. TechTown went so far as to sponsor Jen and Artiss to participate in a selective entrepreneurial boot camp offered by a collaborating high-tech incubator in Michigan, Ann Arbor Spark.
As a retail supplier for Meijer, ArtJen is now poised to extend Mirafit’s retail distribution footprint to include thousands of consumers who want convenient access to the product for its health and weight loss benefits.
About The Creators
Dr. Cathy Jen, Ph.D., FTOS is a Professor and Chairwoman of the Dept. of Nutrition and Food Sciences at Wayne State University. She is conducting a federally funded study on childhood obesity and is on the steering committee of the Obesity Summit organized by the Department of Community Health for the State of Michigan.
Dr. Joe Artiss, Ph.D., FACB, is an Associate Professor of Pathology at Wayne State University’s School of Medicine. He served on the Academic Senate as well as two of its subcommittees at WSU.
TechTown is an urban community of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and partners creating an internationally influential village in Detroit. TechTown brings the resources of Wayne State University to high-technology startup companies to diversify and strengthen Michigan’s economy in high-growth emerging industries. For more information, visit www.techtownwsu.org.