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New Weight-Loss Drug Shows Promising Results

Rate of weight loss on tesofensine can be double that of other drugs

THURSDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In a phase II trial, the weight-loss drug tesofensine induced a mean weight loss twice that of currently approved drugs, according to research published online Oct. 23 in The Lancet.

Arne Astrup, M.D., of the University of Copenhagan in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a trial of 203 participants recruited from five Danish obesity management centers. The patients were prescribed an energy-restricted diet; 52 were randomized to receive 0.25 mg tesofensine, 50 received 0.5 mg of tesofensine, 49 received 1.0 mg tesofensine and 52 received placebo once a day for 24 weeks. In all, 161 patients completed the study.

The mean weight loss percentages for the 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg and 1.0 mg tesofensine groups were 4.5 percent, 9.2 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively, versus 2 percent for the placebo group, the researchers found. Patients in the treatment groups reported adverse effects such as dry mouth, nausea, constipation, hard stools, diarrhea and insomnia, the authors note.

"Our results suggest that tesofensine 0.5 mg might have the potential to produce a weight loss twice that of currently approved drugs," the authors write. "However, these findings of efficacy and safety need confirmation in phase III trials."

The study was funded by Neurosearch A/S, Denmark, which also pays an honorarium to Astrup. Co-author Thomas Jensen, M.D., owns shares in Neurosearch A/S, and Thomas Meinert Larsen has received a travel grant from the company.

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