Professor Kieran Clarke is inventor of the ketone ester technology in HVMN Ketone. Prof. Clarke and co-inventor Dr. Richard Veech led teams at the University of Oxford and at the NIH in Washington DC, to conceive, develop and run human and animal studies culminating in ΔG® ketone ester. Prof. Clarke is also founder and CEO of TdeltaS Ltd, the Oxford University technology transfer spinout company, and seminal to the commercialization of the world’s first ketone ester drink, HVMN Ketone.
Prof. Clarke has worked using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) for more than 25 years. For her PhD in Australia, she studied energy metabolism in the heart using MRS – before MRI was invented. Because of the expense, very few places had MR machines, but Kieran worked at all of them: Brisbane, Boston, Ottawa and Oxford.
“I wanted to study science, so I could travel, live and work anywhere in the world.”
After conducting postdoctoral research at Harvard, she became the Group Leader for the National Research Council of Canada. Decades of experience, coupled with a keen interest in metabolism, led Kieran to join the University of Oxford in 1991 as Head of the Cardiac Metabolism Research Group.
“Metabolism is so very interesting, as it can be altered by diet and exercise in ways that we are still discovering.” — Professor Kieran Clarke
The ketone ester technology was borne out of a 2003 DARPA program called “Metabolic Dominance,” which aimed to provide soldiers with fuel during stressful wartime situations. Professor Clarke, Dr. Veech and their teams were awarded a DARPA research grant and began closely working with the US Military to develop the technology that would eventually become HVMN Ketone.
While ketones as a fuel source was a new concept for many, it wasn’t for Professor Clarke. She and Dr. Veech started studying ketone metabolism in the heart in 1993, and published many papers on the subject, far before DARPA came knocking.
“We proposed to invent a food based on ketones.”
At each stage of development, the project could have easily failed. For example, it took four years to run the safety tests required by the FDA. The ketone ester technology that resulted in HVMN Ketone has been 15+ years and millions of dollars in the making; but Clarke and Veech had the foresight to see adaptations for the technology before many others.
Exogenous ketone research is only just beginning. Athletic performance has been the best way to demonstrate that ketones provided useful energy. For Professor Clarke, the most exciting part about the ΔG® ketone ester is its potential for common human metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's.
HVMN is proud to work closely with Professor Kieran Clarke to commercialize her research and life’s work.