Cardiotoxicity risk in most obesity drugs, says expert

Adipogenesis has been notified as an obesity disease by the Food and Drug Administration

Most obesity drugs available in the market have cardiotoxicity and there are many gaps which need to be filled in pharma sector, an expert has warned.

Prof Tapas K Kundu, Head of Transcription and Disease Laboratory, Molecular Biology and Genetics Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru, said this while delivering a lecture on “Epigenetics and Drug Discovery” at Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) in Thiruvananthapuram.

He said that as a result of clinical research, two molecules have been developed and that JNCASR is in talks with pharma companies for further development. These natural product-based semisynthetic molecules could probably come to the rescue of many adipogenesis-related disorders. The lecture was organised in connection with the Foundation Day of the institution.   

Adipogenesis notified as obesity disease

Adipogenesis is the process by which fat-laden cells develop and accumulate as adipose tissues at various sites within the body. It occurs both during late embryonic development. This can also happen in a mature animal under conditions that promote obesity.

Prof Kundu said that, until very recently, adipogenesis was not considered a disease, but Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced it as one of the obesity diseases, even though there are many complexities associated with obesity.

Importance of fundamental research noted

Emphasising the importance of fundamental research, he said scientific and research community has the responsibility of how to connect fundamental research with society.

He said epigenetics is a very important target to understand the lives and pathobiology of life, besides for formulating therapeutic policies. Prof Kundu said RGCB could be a very important institute to galvanise biomedical research in the context of India, and in future it can make immense contribution to the nation.

RGCB Director Prof Chandrabhas Narayana, in his welcome address, briefly recalled the emergence of RGCB as a premier biotechnology research institution in India since its inception.  While foundation stone for the RGCB was laid on November 18, 1995 by the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, the institution was dedicated to the nation by the then President of India, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, on November 18, 2002, he said.

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