Obesity Vaccine Success

A biotech company is developing a vaccine that promotes weight loss in mice.

Jul 9, 2012
Edyta Zielinska

FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS, :.[MELISSA]:.

Two obesity vaccines that target somatostatin, a hormone that can promote weight gain, were shown to reduce body weight of obese mice by 10 percent, according to a new study in the Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology, an open-access publication.

The sole author on the paper, Keith Haffer from Braasch Biotech in South Dakota, injected mice fed an obesity-inducing diet with two vaccine candidates designed to produce antibodies against somatostatin.  Reducing somatostatin levels is thought to help increase the amount of two other hormones—growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor—that promote weight loss.

“Although further studies are necessary to discover the long-term implications of these vaccines, treatment of human obesity with vaccination would provide physicians with a drug- and surgical- free option against the weight epidemic,” Haffer said in a press release.