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The drug adipotide is currently tested by researchers at the MD Anderson Cancer Centre at the University of Texas and, though no human trials have been undertaken so far, scientists believe the injected medication could help solve the growing obesity crisis.
Adipotide works by targeting the blood vessels that supply fat - by cutting off the blood supply, the fat is effectively 'killed' causing excess pounds to simply melt away. The drug is also thought to curb appetite.
Tests on overweight monkeys revealed that a daily injection of adipotide resulted in 11 per cent of their weight in just four weeks. The test subjects also lost 39 per cent of their body fat and their bellies slimmed down by 27 per cent.
Researchers, whose study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, did admit that some kidney problems were noted but believe the issues can be overcome. They now hope to being human trials, injecting obese prostate cancer patients with the drug in a bid to improve their overall health.
Researcher Dr Wadih Arap said, "Obesity is a major risk factor for developing cancer, roughly the equivalent of tobacco use. Obese cancer patients do worse in surgery, with radiation or chemotherapy - worse by an measure."
Fat-fighting 'wonder drugs' have not enjoyed much success in recent years - just one remains available and two prescription-only pills that work on the brain have been banned in recent years because of safety concerns.
Though scientists have a long road ahead if they are to prove adipotide is safe, it is hoped human trials will confirm their beliefs and lead to the drug becoming widely available to obese patients via prescription.
What do you think - would you turn to prescription drugs to help you lose weight? Leave your comments below...