Back in 2011, the hot news in obesity research was Adipotide. This peptide would target adipose tissue and destroy the blood supply, essentially KILLING fat cells. Not like those stupid scam ads, this stuff was intended to be a fat Terminator and KILL FAT CELLS for real! It sounded like a Holy Grail for weight loss and there was a lot of excitement when it was cleared for human trials in early 2012 by the FDA. But then something odd happened. Adipotide seemed to fall off the radar.
I went looking for an update and found that the Adipotide page on the website for its developer, Arrowhead Research, had not been updated since those Phase I Clinical Trials were announced. That doesn’t look good. Since Arrowhead is publicly traded, the real place to look for information would be in finance news. No updates on Adipotide. If there was good news, they’d definitely want to be publicizing it to drive investor interest especially since Arrowhead’s stock price has taken a beating in the last couple of years, dropping below $2 a share. Back when biotechs were all the daytrading rage in the late 90s, Arrowhead had actually traded over $120 by early 2000. Checking the press releases for the past year, Arrowhead is grabbing headlines with a treatment for liver disease and a drug for Hepatitis B that’s in Phase II clinical trials. The news seems to be promising as the stock price is on the rise and analysts are recommending the Texas-based research firm as a buy.
So what of Adipotide? Peptides are simple proteins. They function in the body as neurotransmitters, sending signals and influencing hormonal response. As I understand it, they are fairly easy to synthesize. For that reason, peptides are popular for body building supplementation. Adipotide is turning up on websites that sell injectable supplements, the kind that would be banned in professional competition.
I found a couple of blogs where individuals described their personal experiences with trying Adipotide. Both report experiencing severe pain and lumps developing under the skin at the injection site. Kidney damage is a side effect but it’s supposed to be reversible after stopping the injections. As if that’s reassuring! One person who injected himself with Adipotide experienced serious pain, hypoglycemia, extreme thirst, nausea, insomnia, cloudy urine, and what he called “chronic toxicity after two weeks of dosing.” Yeah, let’s not go there.
Another blogger excitedly announced how he planned to give himself a 28-day trial of Adipotide. He only wrote for the first five days and admitted to eating cookies and chips. So much for that guy.
With no updates on the clinical trials to be found, they must not have turned out well. It’s not the first time a highly-hyped obesity wonder drug failed miserably. Millions were spent to research a drug that would have increased sensitivity to Leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite. You might remember when Phen-Fen was pulled from the market for causing heart valve damage. We can’t know what Arrowhead Research is doing with Adipotide unless they release a statement but if some other drug trial is giving their stock price a boost, I wouldn’t count on any news.