A drug which blocks the effects of cannabinoids is being studied as a treatment for obesity.
French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Synthelabo is studying a chemical which blocks neurons from accepting cannabinoids (a “cannabinoid receptor antagonist”). They have given their new chemical the trade name Rimonabant.
Sanofi-Synthelabo has already completed a 16-week “Phase II” study showing that Rimonabant produced weight loss in obese patients. Now they are conducting conducting parallel “Phase III” studies in North America and Europe, comparing 5 milligram and 20 milligram doses of Rimonabant against a placebo, for weight reduction and prevention of weight regain.
Rimonabant blocks the CB1 receptor, whose activation by various cannabinoids can result in increased appetite. A spokesman for Sanofi-Synthelabo told the Associated Press that Rimonabant caused some gastrointestinal side effects, but was “generally well-tolerated.”
Sanofi-Synthelabo is also studying the effects of Rimonabant on patients with diabetes and lipid disorders.
? Sanofi-Synthelabo: en.sanofi-synthelabo.com