Answer: Maybe. Lithera, Inc. – a privately held pharmaceutical research group, recently presented some exciting results of a randomized, double-blinded study of their new injectable lipolysis drug, called “LIPO102″ at the ASDS meeting.
In the study, volunteers were injected weekly in 22 locations in the abdomen and flanks with the drug, over 8 weeks. On average, the study group lost about 1/2” more of abdominal circumference than the control group did, without diet or exercise. Computerized 3-D imaging was used to take the measurements.
The fat reduction worked best in patients who were younger than 40 years and relatively thin.
Here’s the interesting part: the ingredients in LIPO-102 are salmeterol xinafoate and fluticasone propionate. Asthma patients might recognize these medicines better as the very same ingredients that are used in Advair, the FDA-approved inhaler. The same beta receptors that are used to help relax the airways for asthma and COPD patients are also found on fat cells, where a beta agonist can trigger lipolysis. Dosing and administration, of course, are quite different between the two products.
Lithera isn’t the only group with an injectable agent for melting fat, though. Kythera Biopharmaceuticals is also working on the same concept, with a totally different injectable formula called “ATX-101” (Kybella now FDA approved 2015) which is also in the testing phase.
Impression: All very exciting, but very preliminary stuff. It may be the next generation of non-surgical body contouring, or it may turn out to be more trouble than it’s worth. Much more research is needed.