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Science Spotlight: GLP1-NMDA for obesity, anti-ceramide for diabetic retinopathy, and more

ARTICLE | Discovery & Translation

BioCentury’s roundup of translational innovations

By Danielle Golovin, Senior Biopharma Analyst

May 22, 2024 11:48 PM UTC

Novo Nordisk A/S (CSE:NOVO B; NYSE:NVO) and University of Copenhagen researchers fused the gut-hormone mimic GLP-1 to an NMDA receptor blocker to target GLP-1R-expressing neurons that regulate appetite. The fusion therapy caused faster weight loss in rodents compared with GLP-1R agonists, although exactly how the mechanism works is unclear.

Recently launched incretin-based drugs are effective at inducing weight loss, but have tolerability issues. So far, the therapies’ biggest limitations — and the biggest opportunities for next-generation drugs to differentiate — include gastrointestinal side effects, loss of muscle mass and rebound weight gain after discontinuation. There’s also room to improve on the extent and speed of weight loss, and to treat the 10-20% of patients who don’t respond to first-generation GLP-1s…