Alan Saltiel, the Mary Sue Coleman director of the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan, reported the discovery that an off-patent drug currently prescribed for the treatment of asthma also reverses obesity, diabetes and fatty liver in mice in the Feb. 10, 2013, issue of the journal Nature Medicine.
Saltiel and colleagues found that amlexanox may overcome one of the reasons that so ineffective in producing weight loss for some people. In a previous study the researchers found that many people’s bodies respond to reduced calorie intake by reducing metabolism. This response prevents weight loss.
The researchers are seeking an optimized formulation of amlexanox that will produce the same effects in humans. Amlexanox has been on the market in Japan for more than 25 years. The discovery was the result of a high-throughput chemical screening at LSI's Center for Chemical Genomics.
The expected results are reversal of obesity, diabetes, and fatty liver. All three disease account for numerous deaths each year and billions of dollars in medical care costs.
The research was reviewed at the Eureka Alert website on the date of publication.