A new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism reveals the development of a new obesity drug that increases sensitivity to a hormone which regulates hunger.
Known as JD5037, the drug is similar to rimonabant which was banned in 2008 both in the United States and Europe after it was linked with increased risk of depression and suicide.
The drug works by increasing the body's sensitivity to a hormone known as leptin, which is a naturally occurring appetite suppressant in the body. The researchers found that the drug not only increased leptin's sensitivity but also regulated the hormone levels in a range similar to that found in a lean body shape.
"By sensitizing the body to naturally occurring leptin, the new drug could not only promote weight loss, but also help maintain it. This finding bodes well for the development of a new class of compounds for the treatment of obesity and its metabolic consequences", lead researcher George Kunos said.