Pharmacy researchers in the United States have developed a new drug, SLU-PP-332, that can help individuals lose weight and improve fitness without traditional exercise. The drug works by convincing the body’s muscles that they are undergoing endurance training. In experiments conducted on mice, the drug proved effective in reducing body weight and fat gain. The mice injected with SLU-PP-332 lost 12% of their body weight and gained 10 times less fat compared to untreated mice, despite consuming the same amount of food and not increasing their activity levels.
SLU-PP-332 targets proteins in the body called ERRs, which play a crucial role in activating metabolic pathways in tissues like the heart and brain. By stimulating these proteins, the drug increases energy expenditure even at rest. Additionally, when combined with exercise, SLU-PP-332 was found to enhance performance, allowing mice to run 70% longer and 45% farther.
The drug did not show any severe side effects during the trial on mice. However, further testing on animals is needed to assess any potential side effects before it can be evaluated in human trials. The next step for researchers is to refine the structure of SLU-PP-332 to make it available in pill form instead of injections.
The University of Florida research team behind SLU-PP-332 is also interested in investigating whether the drug can be used to treat heart failure by strengthening the heart muscle. They also want to ensure that muscle mass is maintained during weight loss, which is essential for the drug’s potential market success. The researchers believe that SLU-PP-332 has the potential to keep individuals healthier as they age.