Arrowhead Research Corporation (NASDAQ: ARWR), a targeted therapeutics company, today announced the publication of data demonstrating that its anti-obesity drug candidate, Adipotide, induces rapid metabolic changes with implications for Type II diabetes. An independent laboratory reported that obese mice treated with Adipotide displayed significantly improved insulin sensitivity, improved glucose tolerance, and a reduction in serum triglycerides after only 2-3 days of treatment. These effects occurred independent of and prior to Adipotide-induced weight loss. The findings, published online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Diabetes Association ( Diabetes Epub June 25, 2012 ), are presented in a paper titled "Rapid and weight-independent improvement of glucose tolerance induced by a peptide designed to elicit apoptosis in adipose tissue endothelium." The research team is led by Director of the Cincinnati Diabetes and Obesity Center, Dr. Randy Seeley.
"A large amount of data generated over the past eight years across multiple laboratories have suggested that Adipotide is a unique and potentially powerful agent against the obesity epidemic,” said Dr. Christopher Anzalone, President and Chief Executive Officer of Arrowhead. “This new study suggests that it may also be a powerful agent against obesity’s sister epidemic, Type II diabetes. The extent and speed of the effects reported by Dr. Seeley’s group are truly striking. We have always been excited about this new suite of anti-obesity drug candidates for many reasons, including: the unique mode of action; rapid weight loss seen in rodents and non-human primates; and data suggesting that animals have decreased appetites while they are losing weight. The current study adds a new dimension to the program and expands the potential reach to include Type II diabetes. We are looking forward to the results of the first human study."
Unlike many anti-obesity drugs in development that attempt to control appetite by targeting the central nervous system, Adipotide acts directly on fat, or Adipose, tissue by disrupting the blood supply to fat cells. Prior studies across multiple animal models have suggested that this leads to weight loss in two primary ways. First, as fat cells are deprived of blood supply they are metabolized by the body. Second, altering the vasculature feeding excess white fat changes metabolic parameters that lead to decreased food intake. The current study takes this a step further and indicates that the metabolic changes may have profound implications for Type II diabetes. Researchers observed that Adipotide treatment “appears to improve white adipose tissue (WAT) function…even while adipose mass is reduced” and “results in improved WAT hormone secretion, plasma lipids, plasma amino acids and WAT gene expression. While counter-intuitive, these data support the hypothesis that WAT function is improved rather than impaired by inhibiting WAT vasculature and that this contributes to the improved glucose regulation.”