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Future treatments

Obesity vaccine moves a step closer

Recent study points the way towards obesity vaccine
Researchers claim study demonstrates the possibility of treating obesity with vaccination

The results of a new obesity vaccine that promotes weight loss have been reported by investigators from Braasch Biotech.

The article, “Effects of novel vaccines on weight loss in diet-induced-obese (DIO) mice”, to be published in the Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology, the researchers assessed the effectiveness of two somatostatin vaccinations, JH17 and JH18, in reducing weight gain and increasing weight loss in mice.

Prior to the start of the study, male C57BL/6J mice were fed a 60% Kcal fat diet for eight weeks. They were then vaccinated, via the intraperitoneal route, with two formulations (JH17 & JH18) of chimeric-somatostatin vaccines at one and 22 days of the study. Control mice were injected with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). All mice were fed 60% Kcal fat diet for the remainder of the study.

The researchers measured the body weights two times a week and food intake was measured weekly. At week six, mice were euthanized, a terminal bleed was made and antibody levels to somatostatin and levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) were determined.


The investigators reported that vaccination with both vaccine formulations induced a statistically significant body weight change over the study period, as compared with PBS controls. Percentage of baseline body weight was also significantly affected by vaccination during the study period.

Vaccinates finished the study at 104% and 107% of baseline weight, JH17 & JH18 respectively, while untreated controls reached 115% of baseline weight. Food intake per mouse was similar in all mouse groups during the entire study.

Control mice did not demonstrate any antibody titers to somatostatin, while all vaccinated mice had measurable antibody responses (>1:500,000 titer). IGF-1 levels were not statistically significant among the groups, but were elevated in the JH18 vaccinates (mean 440.4ng/mL), compared with PBS controls (mean 365.6ng/mL). Vaccination with either JH17 or JH18 chimeric -somatostatin vaccines produced a statistically significant weight loss as compared with PBS controls (p<0.0001), even though the diet-induced-obese mice were continually fed a 60% Kcal fat diet.

“This study demonstrates the possibility of treating obesity with vaccination,” said Dr Keith Haffer, President and CSO of Braasch Biotech. “Although further studies are necessary to discover the long term implications of these vaccines, treatment of human obesity with vaccination would provide physicians with a drug- and surgical- free option against the weight epidemic.”

The company said the next stage could see obese dogs and pigs tested with the experimental vaccine.

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