Obesity Management

New drug—and new hope—for a losing game

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Science  31 Jul 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6247, pp. 491-492
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6247.491-e

Injectable weight loss: In the long run, is it too good to be true?

PHOTO: DR. P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE SOURCE

Many people would gladly trade a dip in the fountain of youth for a safe drug that makes them thinner. Despite years of effort, the pharmaceutical industry has yet to deliver such a drug. New hope is offered by Pi-Sunyer et al., who report the results of a 56-week, double-blind clinical trial examining the metabolic effects of a drug called liraglutide, which mimics a hormone produced in the gastrointestinal tract (glucacon-like peptide 1) that increases satiety. People taking liraglutide, in conjunction with dieting and exercise, lost a mean of 8.4 kilograms as compared with 2.8 kilograms in those taking a placebo. Drawbacks include the delivery method (injection) and hints that cessation of the drug results in regain of weight.

New Engl. J. Med. 373, 11 (2015).

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