Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

Instant willpower.

British biotech company Vernalis has announced a very successful stage one human trial of an appetite surpressant that blocks hunger signals at the brain level. 

Compared to placebo, which resulted in an average weight loss of 1.1 pounds over 16 days, 5 mg of CB1 antagonist V24343 (four times daily) resulted in a weight loss of 5.7 lbs, while 100 mg resulted in a loss of 11 lbs. 

The study had 66 volunteers, only two of which had to drop the study, due to nausea and/or vomiting. Both were at the highest dosage.  No other significant side effects were experienced. 

Average weight loss after 16 days was 0.5kg for placebo, 2.6kg for 5mg V24343 and 5.0kg for 100mg V24343. This compares very favourably with results for rimonabant in a similar trial in obese volunteers over 1 week, which showed placebo-corrected weight loss of 0.7kg. 

Vernalis is only one of a handful of companies that are designing new drugs specifically to reduce people's appetite. There's also Nastech's PYY3-36 nasal spray, which uses a naturally occurring hormone produced in the gut that is believed to function as a physiologic inhibitor of appetite. Other molecules are also being studied that shut down appetite, such as melanocortin agonists, which act against hunger. Unfortunately, they also have a tendency to induce erections, at least in lab rats. Researchers are seeking ways to avoid this "side effect", while also seeking ways to market the drug for erectile dysfunction.

To be fair, I should point out that I am thinking of buying stock in these companies sometime shortly... Their marketplace is... well... huge.

In the not-too-distant future, it is likely that numerous different drugs will be developed, and that patients might find themselves using a cocktail of drugs, depending upon their needs. All these developments seem to suggest that obesity may not be around for all that much longer, at least for those with health insurance who seek treatment.

As for me, I find that dieting works too. I've lost 40 pounds from my peak, and have kept it off for awhile now, without going hungry. I'll mention some of the techniques I use in a subsequent post, for those who might be interested.


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