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Medical News & Perspectives
September 9, 1998

Leptin Passes Safety Tests, but Effectiveness Varies

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JAMA. 1998;280(10):869-870. doi:10.1001/jama.280.10.869-JMN0909-4-1

LEPTIN, the so-called antiobesity hormone, received a lot of attention at the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) 58th Scientific Sessions, held in Chicago, Ill, in June. The biggest news centered on results of phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, which showed that recombinant methionyl human leptin has an acceptable safety profile and causes dose-dependent weight loss.

"What makes this result exciting is that leptin is a natural human protein that has been suggested to have a role in regulating body weight," explained Andrew S. Greenberg, MD, director of the Program in Obesity and Metabolism at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University School of Medicine and director of research at the Obesity Consultation Center at New England Medical Center, both in Boston, Mass. "Obese participants taking the highest dose of the daily leptin injection lost an average of nearly 16 lb over six months." Greenberg said that given these preliminary findings, he thinks further study is warranted.

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