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Bypassing the brain in obesity
Monday, October 1, 2001
While some companies are pursuing compounds that affect energy
metabolism through centrally mediated pathways, Karo Bio AB and partner Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. are bypassing the central nervous system wiring with their selective thyroid
hormone nuclear receptor agonists that turn on expression of genes related to metabolism.
Leptin, a hormone that acts on the hypothalamus to affect both hunger
and cellular metabolism, is in development to treat obesity by Amgen Inc. (AMGN, Thousand
Oaks, Calif.), while Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN, Tarrytown, N.Y.) is testing its
Axokine CNTF, which is related to leptin, in Phase III trials.
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