Drug helps fight obesity linked to certain genetic conditions

Drug helps fight obesity linked to certain genetic conditions

An FDA-approved drug can help some adults and pediatric patients with severe obesity. Dr. David Meeker, CEO of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, the biotech company that developed the drug, Imcivree, says once administered through an injection it activates the MC4 receptor pathway in the brain, which is responsible for sending a signal that regulates hunger, energy expenditure and consequently body weight. "This is not simple obesity, this is a rare genetic disease that destroys lives," he said. "They eat a full meal, they're still hungry." Currently, the prescription drug is approved for three specific genetic diseases, which affect approximately 1,000 to 2,000 patients in the United States. The company hopes the drug will get approval for defects in 30 additional genes. "If you have a defect in that pathway we essentially bypass your defect, and we can restore the function of that pathway so when you do eat a meal you will feel full," Meeker said. Phases 2 and 3 of clinical trials for additional diseases have shown successful weight-loss. Dr. Jennifer Miller explains these rare yet extreme cases oftentimes become noticeable …
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