News about anti-obesity drugs is pretty common, but many of them never make it past the testing stage in rodents. Now, a new fat-fighting drug has passed the primate test: it's proven to be successful with obese rhesus monkeys. It just might be appropriate for us, too.
Most obesity drugs either ramp up metabolisms to burn through fat, or make us feel less hungry in the first place. This new drug, dubbed Adipotide, instead goes after the fat already there. It homes in on the surface of blood vessels that supply the adipose, the white fat in your body, and uses a synthetic peptide to trigger cell death. By cutting off the blood supply, the fat cells are cut free and metabolized.
Over the period of four weeks of treatment, the obese monkeys dropped 27 percent of their abdominal fat, and became notably less insulin resistant. Monkeys that were already thin didn't shed pounds at all, meaning it might only target extra weight, not the stuff we need to survive.
Out of all the recent attempts at weight-loss drugs, this one looks the most like it might have potential to go all the way. Now we just have to wait to hear the horrible, horrible side-effects that won't come to light until after it hits the market.