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Obesity journal publishes new study on lorcaserin, a weight-loss medication recommended for approval by FDA advisory panel
Date:6/26/2012

SILVER SPRING, Md., June 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new study on the effects of lorcaserin, a drug recently recommended for approval by an FDA advisory panel for the treatment of obesity, was just published in the scientific journal Obesity.  The journal is published by The Obesity Society (TOS), the leading scientific organization in North America dedicated to the study of obesity.  Authors include several TOS members including Patrick O'Neil, PhD, President, and Steven Smith, MD, Vice-President of TOS.

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The study, titled BLOOM-DM (Behavioral Modification and Lorcaserin for Obesity and Overweight Management in Diabetes Mellitus) evaluated 604 obese and overweight participants with type 2 diabetes in a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial over a one-year treatment period. Although all participants received systematic lifestyle change counseling, those on the medication lost 4.5 – 5.0% of their initial bodyweight compared to a loss of 1.5% by patients on the inactive placebo. According to lead author O'Neil, "That's a very meaningful difference in weight loss for this population. Importantly, the patients on active medication also showed much greater improvement on a key measure of blood glucose control."

Lorcaserin is a selective serotonin receptor agonist that works specifically on appetite signals in the brain. It has been developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals, which sponsored the trial. In previous clinical trials, lorcaserin decreased body weight in non-diabetic overweight and obese individuals. Although current American Diabetes Association treatment guidelines recommend that individuals with type 2 diabetes achieve modest weight loss (5–7%) to improve glycemic control, weight loss has historically been more difficult to achieve among patients with type 2 diabetes than among those without diabetes.

Over 85% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight and obese people, and they often find weight loss more difficult than do non-diabetics. Weight losses of 5-10% can significantly improve glycemic control as well as other weight-related comorbid conditions. However, diet and exercise alone are often insufficient to achieve such weight losses in this population.  There are a variety of medications approved to treat health risks such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia, yet few have been approved to treat obesity, the greatest health threat of this century.

The Obesity Society is committed to encouraging research on the causes and treatment of obesity.  This new study on lorcaserin is one more example of the important research being conducted by TOS members to help inform both the medical community and the public.  "If approved by the FDA, lorcaserin will provide an additional tool to fill the gap between lifestyle intervention alone at one end and bariatric surgical intervention at the other end," said Dr. Robert Kushner, past president of The Obesity Society.  Dr. Kushner provided public comment to the advisory committee on behalf of The Obesity Society.

About The Obesity Society

The Obesity Society (www.obesity.org) is the leading scientific organization in North America dedicated to the study of obesity. The Obesity Society is committed to encouraging research on the causes and treatment of obesity and keeping the medical community and public informed of new advances. The Obesity Society's vision is to be the leader in understanding, preventing and treating obesity and in improving the lives of those affected. The Obesity Society's membership comprises approximately 2500 basic and clinical researchers, who have published extensively, and care providers in obesity treatment and prevention.

The Article Referenced in this News Release

Randomized Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of Lorcaserin for Weight Loss in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: The BLOOM-DM Study
Patrick M. O'Neil, Steven R. Smith, Neil J. Weissman, Meredith C. Fidler, Matilde Sanchez, Jinkun Zhang, Brian Raether, Christen M. Anderson and William R. Shanahan
Obesity (2012); 20 7, 1426–1436. doi:10.1038/oby.2012.66
http://www.nature.com/oby/journal/v20/n7/full/oby201266a.html


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SOURCE The Obesity Society
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