Tesofensine can produce weight loss twice that of currently approved obesity drugs, and should be studied in phase III trials. These are the conclusions of an Article published early Online and in an upcoming edition of The Lancet, written by Professor Arne Astrup, Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues.
Increased obesity prevalence worldwide, in both developed and developing countries, results in more people with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, and cancer. Whilst gastric bypass surgery substantially reduces bodyweight and obesity-related disease, the researchers believe a treatment gap exists between the effectiveness of currently marketed obesity drugs and gastric-bypass surgery. Tesofensine – which inhibits the presynaptic uptake of the neurotransmitters noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin in the brain – has been shown to be safe and effective in animal models. It also caused unintended weight loss when it was given obese patients with Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease when it was researched for those conditions. The drug works by suppressing hunger, leading to an energy deficit which burns off excess body fat.