The trials of a new drug to treat obesity have been successful, say scientists from Tokyo Medical University. If the drug is successful, it could lead to better treatments for obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The new drug, called LS-102, targets a gene linked to levels of adipose tissue, which is a key factor in the development of obesity. Obese people are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
The targeted gene is called the synoviolin gene (SYVN1). When the researchers bred mice without SYVN1, the mice had less body fat than those with the gene.
Essentially, the fat tissue of mice without SYVN1 burned more energy than those with the gene.
The mice also had lower blood glucose levels, which suggest that the drug could be an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes and hyperglycemia. The researchers, however, suggest that more studies are needed on this function of LS-102.
Obesity affects one in four adults in the UK, and increases the risk of a number of other conditions. These include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some kinds of cancer.
Professor Toshihiro Nakajima, leader of the study, said: “Obesity is a known risk factor for other chronic disorders.
“Our findings indicate that synoviolin may be a key for understanding the common features of obesity and chronic inflammatory disease such as [rheumatoid arthritis].”
The researchers wrote: “Although further studies are needed to clarify the role of SYVN1 in glucose metabolism, SYVN1 is an important drug candidate for obesity and associated metabolic diseases.”

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