University of Texas researchers melted the fat off of chunky monkeys with an experimental drug, which might be a whole lot more promising than obesity drugs tested on mice, thanks to the primate’s closer to resemblance to humans. The drug, called adipotide, works by targeting blood vessels that feed fatty tissue, and then causing the cells within to die. Without a blood supply, the fat cells shrivel up and voila! Suddenly you’ve got a much fitter monkey.
The drug has been tested on five different species; in the latest study, published in Science Translational Medicine, tea monkeys showed an 11 percent reduction in body weight over the course of one month. But adipotide doesn’t seem to be immune to the pitfalls of most rapid weight loss tricks: Some of the monkeys regained the weight after they stopped using the drug, and the monkeys did show mild kidney problems that went away with time.
Next, the University of Texas M.S. Anderson Center plans to test the drug on overweight males with prostate cancer, to see if the drug-induced weight loss improves their cancer treatment.
Though mild, the monkeys did show mild kidney problems that went away with time.