New study reveals that a synthetic compound ShK-186, which comes from a sea anemone toxin can be used to treat obesity and insulin resistance.
The new finding got published on May 27 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , wherein it suggest that ShK-186 is essential for blocking the activity of a protein that causes inflammation through the Kv1.3 potassium channel. The study is the first of its kind as it suggest that the compound can be used in helping obese people to lose weight.
UC Irvine licensed ShK-186 to Kineta Inc. is a pharmaceutical company that is based on Seattle. Kineta is developing the compound in order to treat autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, psoriatic arthritis and lupus. The government also gave them the right to produce a drug that would treat obesity.
Potassium channels normalize cell membrane potential and adjust several cellular processes. Previous study conducted on mice, lacking Kv1.3, a potassium channel gene, implied that Kv1.3 standardized the body weight, as well as the basal metabolic rate.
In the latest study, Dr. George Chandy and his colleagues assessed ShK-186 due to its high selectivity for the Kv1.3 target, a favorable pharmacokinetic profile, and match the qualities of an industry-standard drug. During the tests, obese mice were fed with foods high in fat and high in sugar. Afterwards the mice show some sign of reduced body weight. However the compound showed no effect on mice that eat a healthy meal.
Chandy claimed that the study shows another discovery made over in over 30 years and can be used to help people to lose weight. He added that they chose to use the ShK-186 in an obesity model because it has high selectivity for the Kv1.3 target, in addition to meeting the qualities of an industry-standard drug.”
The results that they got form the experiment with ShK-186 is constant with what they expect to see. Though, they cannot make any conclusions yet, the study is a giant step for pharmaceutical companies.