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Thin Times
September 14, 2007 6:05 PM   Subscribe

Struggling British biotech firm Vernalis reports "striking" weight loss among patients taking its new obesity drug, "V24343".
posted by chuckdarwin (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Buy junkfood bonds.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:08 PM on September 14, 2007


"V24343" looks like something typed by a 1337 H4ck3r...
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:12 PM on September 14, 2007


Whereas users of 802.11g report massive obesity.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:12 PM on September 14, 2007 [5 favorites]


I'm hoping someone develops a good anti-obesity drug with no "taper on/off" effect. I find it easy to lose weight when I'm healthy, but when I'm too unhealthy to exercise more than a few hours a week I can easily erase six months of hard fought weight loss in a few weeks.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:18 PM on September 14, 2007


What, is it investment tip day on Metafilter?
posted by mr_roboto at 6:18 PM on September 14, 2007


So apparently they figured that since marijuana makes you hungry and marijuana stimulates this certain receptor in your brain, let's block this receptor and make you less hungry.

Considering all the effects that marijuana has by increasing the stimulation to these receptors, I think it's pretty likely that decreasing stimulation to them is going to have some side effects beyond anti-munchies.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 6:19 PM on September 14, 2007


This is being developed under the brand name "Bogart."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:22 PM on September 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


I'm hoping someone develops a good anti-obesity drug with no "taper on/off" effect.

Oh, there is one already; methamphetamine.

I don't recommend it though, the side effects can be a real drag.
posted by Justinian at 6:31 PM on September 14, 2007


I think methamphetamine is the definition of "bad taper off."
posted by basicchannel at 6:38 PM on September 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


Given that they're essentially turning off the brain's "I'm Hungry" switch...
And hoping that there are no side effects...
And that the test subjects lost 11 pounds in 16 days (a potentially dangerous level of weightloss)...

Well hell! I can't see how this could possibly go wrong!

More likely, though, we're seeing a last-ditch atttempt to boost stock price before the Chapter 11 proceedings begin by issuing vague promises of stardust and unicorns.
posted by lekvar at 6:42 PM on September 14, 2007


Seriously. That news post was written like a letter to investors. wtf?
posted by Parannoyed at 6:53 PM on September 14, 2007


Chuckdarwin, do you own stock in this company?
posted by LarryC at 7:08 PM on September 14, 2007


Eat less and exercise.
Sorry, reality sucks.
posted by daq at 7:27 PM on September 14, 2007


Oh, there is one already; methamphetamine.

Ride the snake!
posted by item at 7:29 PM on September 14, 2007


Eat less and exercise.
Sorry, reality sucks.


Eating less and "exercising" are both annoying for a lot of people, though.

The non-annoying equivalents, and this might just be the secret of weight loss:

Eat better (in America this unfortunately often involves preparing everything you eat from rather basic ingredients, so you might have to learn to eat simple) and live a lifestyle that's not sedentary.

Personally, if I want some french fries I'll sure as hell have some french fries, but I cut up a damn potato and heat some oil rather than go to McDonald's, and this sort of thing seems to allow me to eat whatever I want. Plus everything I eat tastes of food rather than of corn syrup and chemicals.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:49 PM on September 14, 2007


The non-annoying equivalents, and this might just be the secret of weight loss:
There is no secret to weight loss. It's an extremely simple formula for most people at most ages:

Consume less net calories (calories consumed minus calories expended) than your resting metabolic rate over extended periods of time and you will, in fact, lose weight.

Most weight loss methods, including the method in this post, are some form of this formula. Eating better, but ingesting an unhealthy number of calories and simply being less sedentary will absolutely not help a majority of people.

And for what it's worth, your healthy fries probably have a similar number of calories to McDonald's fries. While yours may be healthier in some regards, calories are calories when it comes to weight loss.
posted by sequential at 8:12 PM on September 14, 2007


Certainly in that case the calories are the same - but in a lot of other cases like how I make pasta sauce out of canned tomatoes compared to jarred sauce that's loaded with corn syrup, it works out. I think that sort of stuff is the secret to attaining the formula you mention without living a life of constant self-denial.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:19 PM on September 14, 2007


Whilst researching this, I noticed that they'd had money problems... and added the "struggling" bit just to flesh it out (and to make fun of the desperate tone of some of the other links).

The very idea of a hardened anti-capitalist cynic like myself owning stock in a pharmaceutical company is fucking laughable. I hate these people. I wouldn't piss on them if they were on fire, as we used to say.

And I certainly won't be taking any of their stupid pills. What do you take me for, a rube?
posted by chuckdarwin at 12:51 AM on September 15, 2007


Yeah! Fuck medicine! Goddamn insulin.
posted by Justinian at 1:21 AM on September 15, 2007


There's a huge difference between the unethical practices of companies like Merck and Pfizer and the pioneers of medicine
.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:54 AM on September 15, 2007


And, Justinian, if you'd like to sign up as a guinea pig, I'm sure they'd love to have you. Needing to drop a few pounds, are we?
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:57 AM on September 15, 2007


Eat less and exercise? Naw, just fidget more.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:05 AM on September 15, 2007


Eating less helps, but it's a bitchy fact that your your body will do everything in its power to prevent you from losing fat stores. Breaking that feedback (less food->lower basal consumption, more hunger, greater efficiency) is what we're all hoping for.

Some recent cases from my physician instructors: a obese person whose body switches so hard into saving energy that she has to be cut down to 1200 Cal/day to lose weight. That's starvation rations. Not too far away, we have a recovering anorexic. Even with restricted exercise she has to be fed 4700 Cal/day to gain weight at an acceptable rate. She's really eating this food. If I could get the obese person's body to burn energy like an anorexic's, I'd be a trillionare.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:22 AM on September 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


More likely, though, we're seeing a last-ditch atttempt to boost stock price before the Chapter 11 proceedings begin by issuing vague promises of stardust and unicorns.

i put my unicorn on an all stardust diet and the fucking thing dropped dead after 3 days.
posted by quonsar at 8:20 AM on September 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thanks for pointing that out, o Meat Robot. People who say "it's just as simple as eating less and getting off your fat ass" are probably the lucky ones for whom that's true.

While you can't safely and effectively lose weight without eating less and exercising, it doesn't always follow that eating less and exercising causes significant weight loss.

I eat about half what I used to, a higher proportion of it is vegetables, very little of it is processed junk, and I exercise an hour a day or more. And in the past decade or so I've lost about 30 pounds, each more difficult than the last. My goal weight is 65 more pounds away.

Up until the last couple weeks, I've only lost weight when I spend most of the day hungry. My doctor switched me from glimepiride (which makes you feel hungrier than you need to be) to the starter dose of Byetta (which makes you feel full on less food and gives a very clear "you're not going to eat one more pea unless you enjoy projectile vomiting" signal).

So I'm somewhat less skeptical of "diet pills" than I have been in the past. Clearly it's a field full of scams, but there's very real potential for drugs that work as advertised.
posted by Foosnark at 8:44 AM on September 15, 2007


Vernalis reports "striking" weight loss among patients taking its new obesity drug, "V24343".

They vomited continually for two weeks and then died. After a month, the weight loss was striking!
posted by WPW at 3:14 PM on September 15, 2007


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