Discovery of Chemical Compound that Could Advance New Obesity Treatments

Released: Wednesday, August 05, 2020

A new study offers the first evidence that a chemical compound called BAM15 could be an effective drug for treating obesity and related diseases.

“Obesity causes dangerous health conditions for more than 650 million people worldwide. Despite this, only a handful of medications are currently FDA-approved for obesity treatment. And the people who take these drugs rarely achieve long-term weight loss,” said Executive Director John Kirwan, PhD. “This research represents a promising step in the discovery process for a new obesity drug treatment.”

BAM15 differs from existing prescription weight-management medications, which largely work by reducing the amount of food individuals eat or the calories their bodies absorb. BAM15 is an energy uncoupler. It makes the mitochondria, the cell’s power plant, less efficient. The mitochondria must then burn more energy – a positive change for those who have more fuel reserves (fat storage) than they need.

"Treatment options that are accessible and transformative are of paramount importance for persons with obesity," said Christopher Axelrod, Director of Translational Services. "Our research suggests that BAM15 could be both. We believe BAM15 represents a new generation of compounds that can reduce body weight and improve overall health outcomes by directly changing how the body makes energy."

Researchers believe BAM15 could be used to treat a number of health conditions including diabetes, fatty liver disease and some forms of cancer.

For more information on this research, go to this press release.

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