New Weight-Loss Drug Reduces Body Weight in Monkeys, Mice
November 14, 2011 11:42 AM
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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
, 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
, 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.
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RE: Reduce your daily caloric intake
11/15/2011 9:27:41 AM
Which is why the doctor forces patients to do a lifestyle change.
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,
just to prescribe a pill, and
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.
RE: Reduce your daily caloric intake
11/15/2011 9:58:52 AM
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.
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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