With Lipitor becoming generic, Pfizer pharmaceuticals has decided to venture into the realm of weight loss medicine. Currently the only approved weight loss drugs that are available by prescription are Xenical and stimulants like phentermine, Adderall or Ritalin. Utilizing a different pathway, Pfizer hopes to control a patient’s appetite as opposed to stimulating the body’s functions to possibly control the market once more.
The new drug currently called OAP-189 is an appetite suppressant and mimics the body’s hormones that signal when someone feels full. Like adopotide, this currently is a drug injected into the subcutaneous fat in the skin. More research will need to be conducted to see if an oral option could still provide the same results. The most common side effect right now appears to be nausea and the researchers are hoping that by purifying the compound it will more closely mimic the body’s natural hormones that control hunger thereby minimizing side effects.
The title of the study is A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Multiple Doses of OAP-189 to Determine the Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacodynamics, and Pharmacokinetics When Coadministered With Metformin in Type 2 Diabetic Subject. Eighty-eight patients were included in the study, both men and women, 18- to 65-years of age and diagnosed as a type 2 diabetics. Their body mass index had to be greater than 27, up to 40, which would put patients in the overweight to obese range. These diagnosed diabetics could only be treated with metformin and be on a stable dose for at least a month before the study began. There were six different groups of patients taking different strengths of OAP-189 to help the researchers determine the best possible dose with the least amount of side effects. Pfizer began clinical trials over 2 years ago and it appears their results are promising with patients dropping on average 5 pounds a week. However, the exact results have not been released at this time. The study was concluded in July 2011.
This drug could be great for those who are over eaters who don’t know when to stop. This may not be suitable for people who eat not because they are hungry but because they are stressed, anxious or sad. This is why it’s so important to know if you are truly hungry versus giving into a trigger like stress. With a well respected pharmaceutical company like Pfizer taking a leap into the weight loss market we can only hope their investment will pay off for those dealing with obesity.