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U.S. Patent Granted for Peptide-Based Obesity Treatment

Feet on bathroom scale (


Unigene Laboratories Inc. in Boonton, New Jersey has received a patent for its appetite suppression technology used in the treatment of obesity. Patent no. 8,076,291 from the United States Patent and Trademark Office was issued on 13 December 2011.

The patent protects the company’s compounds that work like the hormone calcitonin to reduce the appetite of obese patients. Calcitonin is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland that lowers the levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood and has been tested in animals as an appetite suppressant. The Unigene technology alters the amino acids in the compounds to reduce their effect on bone matter.

Unigene has tested its drug candidate UGP281 that uses the patented technology in preclinical studies in rats and dogs. The studies show food intake reductions of 55 to 84 percent compared to placebos, and sustained weight loss of 6 to 9 percent, depending on dosage. Other tests with dogs, showed sustained weight reductions with UGP281 of greater than 8 percent compared to placebos, for a period of 5 weeks.

The company says it expects to file an Investigational New Drug application for UGP281 with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and begin a phase 1 clinical trial of safety and tolerability in humans this year.

Read more: Wearable Device Captures Food Intake, Lifestyle Patterns

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