Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Drug Makes Weight Loss Safer, Study Suggests

Date:
September 27, 2007
Source:
Tel Aviv University
Summary:
More than 60 percent of American women are overweight, with nearly a third falling into the category of obese and at greater risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Until now, there has been no safe, long-term medical remedy that tackles unwanted weight gain. Now, a well-known drug used to treat vertigo has been adapted for a new purpose: to treat obesity. The vertigo drug has been in use for 30 years and has an excellent safety profile, according to the researchers.

More than 60 percent of American women are overweight, with nearly a third falling into the category of obese and at greater risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Until now, there has been no safe, long-term medical remedy that tackles unwanted weight gain.

Related Articles


Dr. Nir Barak of Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine has developed what could be a new weight-loss wonder drug. In conjunction with the drug company Obecure, Dr. Barak developed a new formulation called HistaleanTM, based on betahistine, an approved drug marketed worldwide for the treatment of vertigo. Betahistine has been available to health authorities for over 30 years.

Betahistine is believed to block receptors in the brain -- the H1 and H3 receptors -- which are connected to one's sense of fullness and desire to eat fatty foods. It has an excellent safety profile and has been used for treatment by more than 100 million patients suffering from vertigo and dizziness in Canada and Europe.

The repurposed pill, Histalean, has been found to quell the desire to consume fatty foods, and the effects have been most pronounced in women.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, about 32% of adult American women under 54 (about 25 million women) suffer from obesity. "Our new results suggest a strong gender-and-age-effect and support the potential of the drug as a breakthrough anti-obesity agent in women 50 years old or less," confirmed Dr. Yaffa Beck, Obecure's CEO.

According to some estimates, obesity results in thousands of deaths a year and accounts for $117 billion in U.S. health care expenses annually. Clearly, a breakthrough in this area will not only make women look and feel better, but it could save their lives as well.

A recent Phase II clinical trial of the new drug in the U.S. suggests that women under the age of 50 who took Histalean for 12 weeks lost 7 times the weight of those taking a placebo. What's most important to the researchers involved is that none of the 281 patients, males and females aged 18-65, complained of any serious side effects.

The trial, completed this August, was supervised by U.S. weight-loss guru Dr. Robert Kushner. The women who took the pill reported, "It wasn't hard." "I wasn't thinking about food." "I was content."

Dr. Barak explains why this is good news, "All the drugs in the diet pill market today have serious side effects. They may help a woman lose weight, but with that weight loss comes all sorts of bad things like depression and even suicide. Safety issues are a real concern for the FDA. But because this new drug has already been proven safe for other indications, we think Histalean has real blockbuster potential."

The recent results were based on a double-blind, placebo-controlled study on people with a Body Mass Index ranging from 30 to 40. (A BMI of 30 and above indicate obesity.) The study was conducted at 19 investigation sites across the U.S. over a 12 week treatment period. The subgroup of high-dose Histalean-treated women lost an average of 2.91% of their weight versus placebo group which lost only 0.4 %.

Dr. Barak's drug is also expected to compete for the $28 billion market of cholesterol-reducing drugs such as Lipitor. It could also be used in parallel with anti-psychotic drugs, which have unwanted side effects of extreme weight gain among mental health patients.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tel Aviv University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Tel Aviv University. "New Drug Makes Weight Loss Safer, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926143351.htm>.
Tel Aviv University. (2007, September 27). New Drug Makes Weight Loss Safer, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926143351.htm
Tel Aviv University. "New Drug Makes Weight Loss Safer, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926143351.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins