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Anti-obesity drug Adipotide  (Source: University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center)
The new drug, called Adipotide, attacks white adipose tissue under the skin and around the abdomen

Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have developed a drug that assaults the blood supply of fat cells and led to weight loss in obese rhesus monkeys.

Renata Pasqualini, Ph.D., co-senior author of the study and professor in MD Anderson's David H. Koch Center for Applied Research for Genitourinary Cancers, along with Wadih Arap, M.D., co-senior author of the study and a professor in the Koch Center, and Kirstin Barnhart, D.V.M., Ph.D., veterinary clinical pathologist at MD Anderson's Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, have created a new weight-loss drug that could potentially reduce accumulated white fat in humans.

Currently, weight-loss drugs work to suppress the appetite or increase metabolism in order to combat obesity, but harmful side effects come with the use of such drugs.

Now, Pasqualini and Arap have designed a new drug called Adipotide, which attacks white adipose tissue. This tissue is an unhealthy kind of fat that accumulates around the abdomen and under the skin. Adipotide contains a homing agent that attaches to a protein on the surface of blood vessels that support the fat. A synthetic peptide then triggers cell death, and with a lack of blood supply, the fat cells are reabsorbed.

The drug was used in mice models and rhesus monkey models. Adipotide was able to decrease abdominal circumference, body mass index (BMI) and body fat.

According to the study, the obese mice lost about 30 percent of their body weight while on Adipotide. The rhesus monkeys in the study, which were "spontaneously" obese due to overeating and a lack of physical activity, had a 27 percent decrease in abdominal fat levels. The drug reduced the weight of rhesus monkeys by 11 percent in just one month.

The rhesus monkeys, in addition to being obese, had other health problems associated with their obesity such as metabolic syndrome. This can lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But those treated with Adipotide used about 50 percent less insulin.

The research team used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to gauge abdominal body fat, which discovered the reduction in abdominal fat levels.

According to the study, monkeys were alert and acted normally during treatment. This showed that the usual side effects of weight-loss drugs, such as loss of appetite and nausea, were not present while using Adipotide. However, Barnhart noted side effects in the kidneys, but the effect was "dose-dependent, predictable and reversible."

In a separate study to test for the drug's effects in non-obese monkeys, lean monkeys did not lose weight, which shows that the drug only acts in obese subjects.

The next step will be a clinical trial for obese prostate cancer patients, where these patients will receive daily injections of Adipotide for 28 days. The team has targeted prostate cancer patients because current treatments can lead to weight gain, and weight gain has caused problems with arthritis. This then leads to less activity, and more weight gain.

"The question is, will their prostate cancer become better if we can reduce their body weight and the associated health risks," said Arap.

This study was published in Science.

Source: Science Daily

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RE: Reduce your daily caloric intake
By Dr of crap on 11/14/2011 12:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
You beat me to it.

So are these "patients" going to have to take this for the rest of their lives since they haven't changed what it was that made them fat to begin with?!!?

RE: Reduce your daily caloric intake
By cjohnson2136 on 11/14/2011 12:20:12 PM , Rating: 5
The drug would have to be used as a helping tool to learn better practice. People can not expect it to be a miracle pill. But if it allows the person that is 350 pounds to lose 100 pounds which losing that weight can then give them more energy allows them to exercise more and all the while learning better eating habits from nutritionist/physiologist to help with why they eat. Then the drug can be very effective at changing someones live. But people need to see it as a tool like I said and not a cure.

RE: Reduce your daily caloric intake
By AerieC on 11/14/2011 1:37:16 PM , Rating: 2
But that's the problem. Nobody sees drugs like this as the tools they are. They think it's a license to eat whatever they want, and not exercise, with no consequences.

Giving people a pill circumvents the whole, "teaching them healthy lifestyle choices," thing. They don't learn self control. They don't learn how to exercise. They don't learn how to make healthy choices. They learn that all of their bad choices mean nothing because a pill will fix everything.

I mean, at least gastric bypass sort of forces people to eat smaller portions (they vomit if they eat too much). A pill does nothing to change one's habits.

As soon as people stop treatments like this, they gain the weight right back.

RE: Reduce your daily caloric intake
By cjohnson2136 on 11/14/2011 1:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
Which is why the doctor forces patients to do a lifestyle change. For gastric bypass patients have to go through a 6 month or 3 month program depending on their health insurance that includes a entire work up of their health, physiological state, and lots of sessions with a nutritionist and support groups to learn everything. This pill could be a substitute to surgery but still use all the pre-planning stages first. This type of drug can not be something a doctor just gives a patient it has to be something that is closely monitored by the doctor so the doctor knows the patient is doing the program correctly. I know there are a lot of people that see gastric bypass as a miracle cure that just allows you to eat less and makes you skinny. But it doesn't without the right mindset gastric bypass you can just as easily rebound if you see it as a miracle cure.

RE: Reduce your daily caloric intake
By ekv on 11/15/2011 4:46:06 AM , Rating: 2
Which is why the doctor forces patients to do a lifestyle change.
Move over oxycontin -- I heard it's the most over-prescribed drug -- there's a new kid in town.

RE: Reduce your daily caloric intake
By AerieC on 11/15/2011 9:27:41 AM , Rating: 3
Which is why the doctor forces patients to do a lifestyle change.

I loled.

For one, doctors can't force patients to do anything. If doctors could force patients to change their lifestyles, obesity wouldn't be a problem in the first place.

Secondly, I'll let you in on a little secret: most doctors don't actually like people. Most doctors don't go into medicine to help people--they go into medicine because it's a prestigious, highly respected, powerful, money-falling-out-your-ass career. Anything that requires that much patient interaction is sure to fail for a majority of doctors, especially just to prescribe a pill, and especially if that pill has minimal side effects. They're just not going to do that much work.

Gastic bypass is different, for one, because it's invasive surgery. It's a lot of work on the part of the doctors and surgeons, it's dangerous, and it has a lot of potential consequences. For all those reasons, the doctors don't just let anyone get the surgery any time they want; a lot of that extra work is to cover their asses if something goes wrong. E.g. someone comes in who wants to lose 20 lbs, they're not going to give them gastric bypass for that. The risk is too great for such a little weight loss.

This is a pill. All the work the doctors have to do is scribble on a piece of paper and the patient goes away. If they don't have to do more work, they wont. As long as the side effects are minimal, you'd better believe doctors will prescribe it left and right to anyone even remotely overweight.

By cjohnson2136 on 11/15/2011 9:58:52 AM , Rating: 2
Which is why I feel that just giving the pill away is the wrong way to do it. And yes doctors could force their patients to change their lifestyles and monitor it or the patient doesn't get the pill. The pill can't be used as a miracle cure because it won't fix the underlying problem. That problem needs to be fixed or the person will just rebound in their weight. This type of drug would need to be regulated so that doctors can't just give it away to whoever for whatever reason.

By senecarr on 11/15/2011 10:30:19 AM , Rating: 2
Plenty of people are on a medication for the rest of their lives, does it make it inherently wrong?
So, assuming without the pill, the people will just be fat, which is worse - people who are fat, unhealthy, and not taking a pill, or people who are not fat, a littler healthier, and taking a pill? With-holding the pill isn't going to fix anything - if it did, the fact that it hasn't exist so far would mean people already got over weight problems without it.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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