Drug Pipeline Is Fat with Weight-Loss Agents. (Obesity Increasing 1 % A Year in U.S.)

By Kirn, Timothy F. | Clinical Psychiatry News, April 2003 | Go to article overview

Drug Pipeline Is Fat with Weight-Loss Agents. (Obesity Increasing 1 % A Year in U.S.)


Kirn, Timothy F., Clinical Psychiatry News


Never before, perhaps, have so many novel obesity drugs been in the pipeline.

One of those drugs, Axokine, recently received fast-track approval status from the Food and Drug Administration--a first for an obesity drug.

The fast-track approval program, inaugurated in 1997, is reserved for drugs intended to fill an unmet need for treatment of severe and life-threatening conditions.

"People are finally getting interested in obesity," said Dr. F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, director of the Obesity Research Center at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York.

No system tracks every agent under study, but some observers estimate that at least 100 agents are in development. At least two are in phase III, placebo-controlled trials: Axokine, or ciliary neurotrophic factor (Regeneron Pharmaceuticals), and Rimonabant, a cannabinoid receptor agonist (Sanofi-Sythelabo). (See box.)

One factor in the explosion in drug development is the rapid progress in basic understanding of obesity since the 1994 discovery of leptin, a hormone released by fat cells that influences body weight homeostasis. That discovery led to the elucidation of weight-regulation pathways in the part of the hypothalamus known as the arcuate nucleus-and to the discovery of other hormones, including ghrelin, which is secreted by the stomach and modulates hunger and appetite. Ghrelin levels have been shown to rise in response to dietary restriction and fall after gastric bypass.

The Human Genome Project also has contributed, providing researchers a map of genes involved in obesity-and hence, many new targets for intervention.

Meanwhile, the prevalence of obesity continues its upward trend in the United States and throughout the world. An estimated 34-61 million Americans are now obese, and the prevalence is increasing by about 1% a year. Fully 65% of adult Americans are overweight.

Three drugs are approved in the United States for the treatment of obesity: sibutramine, orlistat, and phentermine. But even obesity experts who consider the degree of weight loss produced by those drugs to be clinically significant, admit that the drugs are widely perceived as mediocre at best--and say that there is some truth to that perception.

According to Market Research Reports, the world market for obesity drugs has the potential to reach $3.7 billion a year by 2008, and to have an annual growth rate of 21% thereafter.

"They generally do not produce cosmetically acceptable weight loss for the patient," said Dr. Louis Aronne, director of the Comprehensive Weight Loss Center at Weill-Cornell Medical Center, New York.

Obesity experts are reluctant to predict that investigational agents will produce dramatic weight loss but do say that the new agents are likely to have more favorable side-effect profiles than current drugs.

Sibutramine, for example, has CNS stimulatory effects that are worrisome enough that a class action suit has been brought to have the drug taken off the market; the FDA is looking into it. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Drug Pipeline Is Fat with Weight-Loss Agents. (Obesity Increasing 1 % A Year in U.S.)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.