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Scientists seek volunteers to trial drug to combat obesity

Researchers are looking for volunteers to trial a revolutionary new drug to combat obesity. The capsule has been laboratory-tested on human tissue for more than four years by scientists at Queen Mary University of London, UK, in a project part-funded by the charity Bowel & Cancer Research. The capsule, packed with a mix of natural oils, is believed to ‘trick’ the gut into thinking it’s full and suppresses appetite. Researchers believe it could reduce the need for bariatric surgery and help solve the obesity crisis.  

Zafgen’s beloranib trials placed on hold

Zafgen has received verbal notice from the FDA that beloranib has been placed on partial clinical hold, which will impact ongoing or planned clinical trials, including ZAF-311 and ZAF-312. A partial clinical hold is an order that the FDA issues to delay or suspend part of a sponsor's clinical work requested under its investigational new drug (IND) application.

Zafgen completes enrolment for Australian beloranib trial

Zafgen has completed enrolment of ZAF-203, a Phase 2b clinical trial of beloranib in the treatment of patients with both severe obesity and type 2 diabetes. The trial enrolled 152 patients across 16 sites in Australia. ZAF-203 is a Phase 2b clinical trial designed to determine the long-term weight loss benefits of MetAP2 inhibitor treatment with beloranib in patients with severe obesity complicated by type 2 diabetes, which began randomized treatment in December 2014.

RCT to assess the role of patient ‘investment’

Researchers in the UK have announced the creation of a randomised clinical trial that will examine if successful weight loss post-surgery can be attributed in part to the amount of investment the patient feels that they have made in their operation. There is evidence to suggest that patients who feel that surgery has taken more time and effort to organise, has cost more money, has been more disruptive to their lives and has caused pain are more likely to lose weight after their operation.

EndoBarrier cleared for 12-month US pivotal trial

The FDA has given their approval for GI Dynamics to commence a 25-centre pivotal trial in the USA for their EndoBarrier gastrointestinal liner. The trial will investigate the device’s efficacy in the treatment of obese type 2 diabetics.

The trial is an important step in the company’s bid to secure marketing approval for the EndoBarrier in the USA. Data gathered during the trial, named the ENDO Trial, will be used to support a premarket application for the device. If this is approved, GI Dynamics will be able to market the device in the USA.

Journal watch: 30/08/12

This week: post-bypass comorbidity resolution, bariatric surgery among hispanic adolescents, efficacy of laparoscopic greater curvature plication, and fundus resection.

Study finds surgery better than medical therapy alone

The results of the Surgical Treatment and Medications Potentially Eradicate Diabetes Efficiently (STAMPEDE) trial, published online in the March 2012 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, have found that in obese patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, 12 months of medical therapy plus bariatric surgery achieved glycaemic control in significantly more patients than medical therapy alone.

Does bariatric surgery have a “halo effect”?

According to a study by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, family members of patients who have undergone bariatric surgery have reported weight loss and improvements in their lifestyles. This so-called ‘halo effect’ is believed to be a results of the family’s close association with the patient.

The findings were published in the October 2011 issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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