A brand-new kind of drug, tested in mice, shows promising new results that could lead to the development of a new weight-loss drug that mimics exercise.
The new compound, developed and tested by a University of Florida professor of pharmacy and his colleagues, leads obese mice to lose weight by convincing the body’s muscles that they are exercising more than they really are, boosting the animals’ metabolism.
It also increases endurance, helping mice run nearly 50% further than they could before. All without the mice lifting a paw.
The drug belongs to a class known as “exercise mimetics,” which provide some of the benefits of exercise without increasing physical activity. The new treatment is in the early stages of development but could one day be tested in people to treat diseases like obesity, diabetes, and age-related muscle loss. The research comes as drugs like Ozempic have provided a breakthrough in reducing appetite, helping treat these metabolic diseases.
But the new drug, known as SLU-PP-332, doesn’t affect appetite or food intake. Nor does it cause mice to exercise more. Instead, the drug boosts a natural metabolic pathway that typically responds to exercise. In effect, the drug makes the body act like it is training for a marathon, leading to increased energy expenditure and faster metabolism of fat in the body.
“This compound is basically telling skeletal muscle to make the same changes you see during endurance training,” said Thomas Burris, a professor of pharmacy at UF who led the recent research into the new drug.Read more about Exercise-Mimicking Drug Sheds Weight, Boosts Muscle Activity in Mice.