This week in therapeutics




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Endocrine/metabolic disease


Serotonin (5-HT1B) receptor; serotonin (5-HT2C) receptor

Mouse studies suggest 5-HT1B receptor agonists could improve the efficacy of 5-HT2C receptor-targeted drugs in treating obesity. In mouse brain slices, co-treatment with 5-HT1B and 5-HT2C receptor agonists increased activation of neurons involved in suppression of food intake compared with either agent alone. The co-treatment also decreased food intake compared with either agent alone or saline. Next steps could include studying the effect of the combined agonists in preclinical obesity models.
Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Belviq lorcaserin (APD356), which Eisai Co. Ltd. markets in the U.S., is a 5-HT2C receptor agonist used to treat obesity. At least two other companies have 5-HT2C receptor agonists in Phase II testing or earlier to treat obesity.
At least 14 companies have 5-HT1B receptor agonists on the market or in development for various neurology indications.

SciBX 6(25); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.627
Published online June 27, 2013

Patent and licensing status undisclosed

Doslikova, B. et al. J. Neurosci.; published online June 5, 2013;
Contact: Lora K. Heisler,
The University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, U.K.
Contact: Brian Billups, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, U.K.