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03-05-2018 | Obesity | Review | Article

Future Pharmacotherapy for Obesity: New Anti-obesity Drugs on the Horizon

Current Obesity Reports

Authors: Gitanjali Srivastava, Caroline Apovian

Publisher: Springer US


Purpose of Review

Obesity is a global health crisis with detrimental effects on all organ systems leading to worsening disease state and rising costs of care. Persons with obesity failing lifestyle therapies need to be escalated to appropriate pharmacological treatment modalities, medical devices, and/or bariatric surgery if criteria are met and more aggressive intervention is needed. The progression of severe obesity in the patient population coupled with related co-morbidities necessitates the development of novel therapies for the treatment of obesity. This development is preceded by increased understanding of the underpinnings of energy regulation and neurohormonal pathways involved in energy homeostasis.

Recent Findings

Though there are approved anti-obesity drugs available in the USA, newer drugs are now in the pipeline for development given the urgent need. This review focuses on anti-obesity drugs in the pipeline including centrally acting agents (setmelanotide, neuropeptide Y antagonist [velneperit], zonisamide-bupropion [Empatic], cannabinoid type-1 receptor blockers), gut hormones and incretin targets (new glucagon-like-peptide-1 [GLP-1] analogues [semaglutide and oral equivalents], amylin mimetics [davalintide, dual amylin and calcitonin receptor agonists], dual action GLP-1/glucagon receptor agonists [oxyntomodulin], triple agonists [tri-agonist 1706], peptide YY, leptin analogues [combination pramlintide-metreleptin]), and other novel targets (methionine aminopeptidase 2 inhibitor [beloranib], lipase inhibitor [cetilistat], triple monoamine reuptake inhibitor [tesofensine], fibroblast growth factor 21), including anti-obesity vaccines (ghrelin, somatostatin, adenovirus36).


With these new drugs in development, anti-obesity therapeutics have potential to vastly expand allowing better treatment options and personalized approach to obesity care.

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