An experimental drug which promotes weight loss in obese mice by causing them to burn off excess calories could be used in humans, say researchers.
Although the drug, enzyme soluble guanylate cyclase, has not been tested on people, the authors say it is chemically similar to already-approved pharmaceuticals.
The study, in the journal Nature Communications, found that the drug causes the mice to generate more brown and beige fat, specialised tissues which burn lipid molecules to generate heat.
The enzyme is chemically similar and belongs to the same class as the drug riociguat which has recently been approved for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.
Alexander Pfeifer of the University of Bonn and colleagues hope their findings may provide a potential way to treat obesity and associated illnesses.
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