Monday, May 5, 2008

A Drug for Weight Loss?

The holy grail for a weight loss drug marches on since everyone knows the potential market for it is HUGE (bad pun intended).

Historically most of these have not panned out well. Most remember the phen-fen issues and the only 2 drugs approved current in the US are close to worthless. How one of them (Alli) got approved for OTC (over the counter- aka I can buy it in Wal-Mart now) is beyond me. They even DECREASED the dose. So don’t waste your money on Alli, but the readers of this blog already knew that!

New Class of Drugs
There is a new class of drugs under development. Actually there are many but the ones that are the closest to potential US approval are derived from pot (weed/cannabis) of all things!

The primary active ingredients in marijuana (cannabis) appears to be delta-9 THC and has been investigated for years. One of the drugs on the market derived from it going by the substance name of dronabinol is available as a prescription drug Marinol.

The big block buster was going to be acomplia (goes by other names also like Rimonabant) as it was developed as a weight loss drug from the cannabis plant.

Everyone has heard of the "munchies" from smoking pot and this drug blocks the receptor in the brain (known as a cannabinoid (CB1) receptor antagonists for all the geeks). Since it is BLOCKING the receptor it has the OPPOSITE effect as stimulating it; so you "feel" full instead of going on a Doritos hut.

Take Away
So don't worry about big pharma coming to your fat loss rescue and work on fixing up your nutrition and grab some kettlebells.

Sanofi's Acomplia Wins Approval From UK Health Body
Here is the latest
Mike N

PARIS (Reuters) Mar 26 - French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis said on Wednesday that its obesity-fighting product Acomplia had won approval from Britain's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Sanofi said NICE had recommended that Acomplia should be made available for the management of obese and overweight patients on the UK's state-run National Health Service.

The UK decision contrasts with Germany where Acomplia is not reimbursed by health insurers because it is deemed simply to improve lifestyle.

The British government has made fighting obesity, particularly among young people, one of its key priorities.
In January, official British health data showed that obesity drug prescriptions had soared in the country, and health minister Alan Johnson said the UK faced an obesity crisis.

Acomplia -- also known by the brand name Zimulti in the United States and generically as rimonabant -- was once touted as a multibillion-dollar seller, but hopes for the product dimmed last year when a U.S. expert panel recommended against its approval in the world's biggest market, after it was linked to rare cases of suicidal ideation.

Sanofi said in October it expected only limited sales of the drug in the next few years, until new clinical trial results were ready for submission to regulators in 2009.

The French group is expanding clinical trials of the medicine as a treatment for type 2 diabetes.