Obesity Research to Target Muscles, Not the Brain

ORLANDO - Florida Hospital and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Orlando have launched a two-year partnership with Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda. The three of them hope to find new ways to treat obesity. Here's a preview of their first research project. [audio:http://eunalhee.com/wp-content/uploads/Lhee_partnership.mp3|artists=Lhee|titles=partnership]

The traditional way to combat obesity is to use drug therapy to control a person’s appetite or metabolism. These drugs target the brain, and they can cause serious health problems, like addiction, high blood pressure and faster heart rates.

So researchers at Sanford-Burnham and Florida Hospital are trying another approach : getting the person’s muscles to burn more fat and calories.

Florida Hospital researcher Steven Smith said the goal is to find a new drug with fewer side effects that pharmaceutical company Takeda could put on the market.

"Takeda is interested in identifying pathways and targets within muscle that would be 'druggable,' as we say, that would allow you to rev up metabolism without tweaking with the pathways in the brain," Smith said.

Takeda will give research funding to both Florida Hospital and Sanford-Burnham. [HealthyState.org | FPR Spot]