Anti-obesity pill ‘could cut weight by a quarter’

Further research needed before drug is tried on humans

An anti-obesity pill which could dramatically reduce weight has been developed by scientists.
 
In tests on mice the new therapy reduced their body weight by a quarter and fat mass by 42 per cent after a week – with greater effect from repeated treatment. Follow up experiments over the course of a month showed even more dramatic results – reductions of up to 28.1 per cent and 62.9 per cent respectively.
 
The researchers whose findings are published online in Nature Chemical Biology say further research is needed before the drug is tried on humans. But they say the results point to a new approach for the treatment of obesity and adult-onset diabetes.

Dr Richard DiMarchi, working with colleagues at Indiana University in the US, said: ‘Obesity and its associated consequences, including adult-onset diabetes, remain a primary health and economic threat for modern societies.

‘Pharmacologic treatment that is efficacious and safe has yet to emerge, but the enhanced acceptance of obesity as a chronic disease has elevated the search for a suitable new therapy.

‘Here we present results that prove the principle that single molecules can be designed that are capable of simultaneously activating more than one mechanism to safely normalize body weight.’

He said that a combination of more than two metabolic control peptides into a single molecule may ‘provide an even more potent’ weapon against obesity.

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