This drug works by targeting the body, not the mind, and unlike rivals tthat suppress appetite, Zafgen's drug, beloranib, is designed to make the body produce less fat and burn off the excess as fuel.
"This is in contrast with other agents that really only affect hunger, and don't actually restore balance of the fat," according to Zafgen Chief Executive Thomas Hughes."
Preliminary data from a study testing beloranib showed the highest dose of the drug caused an average weight loss of about 22 lbs. (10 kg) after 12 weeks of treatment.
By comparison, patients taking the highest dose of Vivus's Qsymia in two separate late-stage trials lost about 30 lbs. and 37 lbs. on average after 56 weeks of treatment.
However, even if all goes well, the drug is years away from hitting the market.