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New drug makes weight loss safer
Date:9/26/2007

TEL AVIV More than 60 percent of American women are overweight, with nearly a third falling into the category of obese and at greater risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Until now, there has been no safe, long-term medical remedy that tackles unwanted weight gain.

Dr. Nir Barak of Tel Aviv Universitys Sackler School of Medicine has developed what could be a new weight-loss wonder drug. In conjunction with the drug company Obecure, Dr. Barak developed a new formulation called HistaleanTM, based on betahistine, an approved drug marketed worldwide for the treatment of vertigo. Betahistine has been available to health authorities for over 30 years.

Betahistine is believed to block receptors in the brain the H1 and H3 receptors which are connected to ones sense of fullness and desire to eat fatty foods. It has an excellent safety profile and has been used for treatment by more than 100 million patients suffering from vertigo and dizziness in Canada and Europe.

The repurposed pill, Histalean, has been found to quell the desire to consume fatty foods, and the effects have been most pronounced in women.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, about 32% of adult American women under 54 (about 25 million women) suffer from obesity. Our new results suggest a strong gender-and-age-effect and support the potential of the drug as a breakthrough anti-obesity agent in women 50 years old or less, confirmed Dr. Yaffa Beck, Obecures CEO.

According to some estimates, obesity results in thousands of deaths a year and accounts for $117 billion in U.S. health care expenses annually. Clearly, a breakthrough in this area will not only make women look and feel better, but it could save their lives as well.

A recent Phase II clinical trial of the new drug in the U.S. suggests that women under the age of 50 who took Histalean for 12 weeks lost 7 times the weight of those taking a placebo. Whats most importa
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Contact: Barbara Schreibman
bschreibman@aftau.org
212-742-9060
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

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