Experimental drug shows potential for treating obesity-related diseases

Bloomberg, JIJI

Obese diabetic mice given an experimental drug designed to mimic a hormone with anti-diabetic effects improved the health of the animals and extended their life span, a study found.

The compound, called AdipoRon, improved sensitivity to insulin and lowered blood-sugar levels in mice fed a high-fat diet and in genetically obese mice, according to the study by scientists, including Takashi Kadowaki, Miki Okada-Iwabu, Toshimasa Yamauchi and Masato Iwabu at the University of Tokyo. The research was published Thursday in the journal Nature.

AdipoRon, discovered at a University of Tokyo drug library, acts on two receptors of a fat-derived hormone called adiponectin that is decreased in obesity. The findings in mice may point to a new approach for treating obesity-related health problems such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, researchers said.

“We aim to develop a drug for clinical use within five years,” Kadowaki said, adding that collaboration with a drugmaker is under consideration.

“AdipoRon shifts the physiology of mice fed excess calorie towards that of mice fed a standard diet, modulates known longevity pathways and improves health and prolongs lifespan,” the authors wrote.