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Obesity Drug & Thyroid

Anti-Obesity Drug to Target Thyroid Hormone Receptors

Karo Bio and Bristol-Myers Squibb have jointly discovered a novel anti-obesity drug candidate that targets the thyroid hormone receptor. BMS has now filed an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to initiate clinical trials in man with the drug candidate.

The IND filing by BMS is an important milestone event for the obesity project,”says Bjorn Nilsson, President of Karo Bio, taking a drug candidate to theclinic. We are very pleased with the productive collaboration with BMS, a world leading company in the field of metabolic disorders and drug development.”

Although thyroid hormone increases metabolism, it also has stimulatory effects on heart rate and consequently, that latter activity prevents the use of native thyroid hormone for the treatment of obesity. However, Karo Bio and BMS have successfully developed a selective compound that maintains the stimulatory effects on metabolism while eliminating the cardiac side effects.

Extensive testing of this compound in relevant animal models has shown very positive results with significant weight-lowering and demonstrating a broad therapeutic window.

Obesity is the most serious health problem in the western world and often leads to life threatening diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Since the medical need for developing treatments for obesity in the western world is largely unmet, the Karo Bio/BMS drug candidate has significant block-buster market potential. For its part in this alliance, BMS has been responsible for all animal studies and will be responsible for clinical development.

In addition to the first generation compound entering the clinic, the companies continue to collaborate on the development of second-generation compounds which may expand the possible indications attributed to this class of novel thyroid hormone receptor agonists.

August, 2001

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