New POISON pill to keep you slim
MAGIC PILL TO KEEP YOU SLIM
Millions of overweight Britons could benefit from a new wonder diet pill
Monday December 19,2011
By Mark Reynolds
MILLIONS of overweight Britons could benefit from a new wonder diet pill which switches off appetite without any side effects.
Scientists are close to developing the drug which will help combat the growing obesity epidemic with some 15 million in the UK now falling into that category.
Clinical trials of the new compound are being carried out and early results look promising.
Researchers believe the pill will stop obese people from feeling hungry by mimicking the effect of a hormone that switches off appetite and the pleasure associated with eating.
Tam Fry, spokesman for the National Obesity Forum, welcomed the progress being made in the hunt for a drug that stops people feeling hungry without negative side effects.
“Using these hormones to try to treat the overweight has to be the way forward because they are having an effect on the brain,” said Mr Fry.
Using these hormones to try to treat the overweight has to be the way forward because they are having an effect on the brain
“We think this approach offers the prospect of the breakthrough we need.
“We just have to hope it doesn’t take too long to get one of them on the market.” Scientists at pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, the company that enjoyed huge success with the anti-impotence drug Viagra, are carrying out trials on the new dieting compound which has been codenamed OAP-189.
It is understood to be a synthetic version of a hormone called oxyntomodulin, the appetite-reducing effects of which were discovered by researchers at Imperial College London.
Stephen Bloom, professor of investigative medicine at Imperial College and head of the team that made the oxyntomodulin discovery, said: “We could mimic the dramatic weight loss achieved with stomach bypass surgery by giving people gut-hormone derived therapies.
“Take away hunger, food is not attractive – take away pleasure, people stop eating.”
There are drugs on the market which suppress appetite in the form of Xenical and Alli, but they have limited use because of unpleasant side effects such as diarrhoea.
Pfizer hopes the new drug, which could be available on prescription or sold in shops within three years, will be free from such effects. And there is hope it will help address the UK’s spiralling obesity problem.
One in four adults and more than one in 10 children, aged 2 to 10, are now classed as obese.
The condition – which increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer – costs the NHS £5.1billion a year.
A spokesman for Pfizer said: “We are not able to confirm the extent of our involvement or work in this area.”