Solvay Pharmaceuticals is developing a compound together with Bristol Myers Squibb with potential for use in treating obesity and other metabolic disorders. The compound SLV 319, which is a result of our own research, is currently in early development (Phase 1).
SLV319 belongs to a novel class of agents called CB1 antagonists. They work by blocking the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor. Clinical and preclinical studies involving this class of drug have shown that blocking the CB1 receptor results in reduced food intake.
Obesity is not a simple condition of eating too much. It is now recognized that obesity is a serious, chronic disease. Obesity is defined as an excessively high amount of body fat in relation to lean body mass. The cause of obesity differs from one person to another. Genetic, environmental, psychological, and other factors may all play a part.
BMI (Body Mass Index) is a common measure expressing the relationship (or ratio) of weight-to-height. It is a mathematical formula in which a person’s body weight in kilograms is divided by the square of his or her height in meters (i.e., wt/(ht)2. The BMI is more highly correlated with body fat than any other indicator of height and weight. Individuals with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight, while individuals with a BMI of 30 or more are considered obese. The location of body fat is also of influence. People who carry fat mainly around the waist are more likely to develop obesity-related health problems.
Obesity is considered to be a real health hazard. According to the World Health Organization, in 1995, there were an estimated 200 million obese adults worldwide and another 18 million under-five children classified as overweight. As of 2000, the number of obese adults has increased to over 300 million.
Several serious medical conditions have been linked to obesity, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Obesity is also linked to higher rates of certain types of cancer. Other diseases and health problems linked to obesity include: gallbladder disease and gallstones, liver disease, diseases affecting the joints, pulmonary (breathing) problems and reproductive problems in women.
Emotional suffering may be one of the most painful parts of obesity. Overweight people feel unattractive and often face prejudice or discrimination in the job market, at school, and in social situations. Feelings of rejection, shame, or depression are common.