ARTICLE | Cover Story

Gut punch to osteoporosis

February 18, 2010 8:00 AM UTC

U.S. and Indian researchers have shown that blocking the production of serotonin in the gut with a tryptophan hydroxylase 1 inhibitor from Lexicon Pharmaceuticals Inc. can increase bone formation to treat or prevent osteoporosis.1The findings have prompted Lexicon to investigate whether its other TPH1 inhibitors, which are in Phase II testing for GI disorders, could be used to treat osteoporosis.

Tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (TPH1; TPH) is an enzyme that plays a key role in the biosynthesis of gut-derived serotonin. In 2008, Lexicon published a paper in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics that described the discovery of small molecule THP1 inhibitors and their use to inhibit serotonin production in the gut to treat various GI conditions.2...