Emisphere technology delivers anti-hunger hormones

Emisphere Technologies reports that its oral drug delivery technology, when combined with a couple of digestive hormones, helped some male clinical study volunteers suppress their appetites.

"This study provides validation of Emisphere's Eligen Technology as one that can effectively facilitate the oral administration of therapeutic hormones with otherwise low oral bioavailability, thereby potentially eliminating major bottlenecks in drug development," Emisphere President and CEO Michael Novinski says in a prepared statement.

Emisphere says its drug delivery platform, Eligen, makes it possible to deliver a therapeutic molecule orally without altering its chemical form or biological integrity. The technology improves the ability of the body to absorb small and large molecule drugs by means other than injection, according to the company. Through the Eligen system, Emisphere says, delivery agents or "carriers" help transport of therapeutic macromolecules across membranes like the gastrointestinal tract.

Emisphere overcomes a couple of major obstacles to effective oral delivery, the company says: degradation inside the digestive tract and poor absorption through membranes.

The two digestive hormones used in the study, which were carried and released by the Eligen system in proportion to ingested calories and sent a signal to the brain that the body was full and had enough food. The study appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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- see the journal abstract
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