Gut hormones: the future of obesity treatment?


Dr Kevin G. Murphy, Department of Investigative Medicine, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital Campus, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK. Tel.: +44 (0)20 8383 2820, Fax: +44 (0)20 8383 8320, E-mail:


Obesity is a major worldwide health problem. The treatment options are severely limited. The development of novel anti-obesity drugs is fraught with efficacy and safety issues. Consequently, several investigational anti-obesity drugs have failed to gain marketing approval in recent years. Anorectic gut hormones offer a potentially safe and viable option for the treatment of obesity. The prospective utility of gut hormones has improved drastically in recent years with the development of longer acting analogues. Additionally, specific combinations of gut hormones have been demonstrated to have additive anorectic effects. This article reviews the current stage of anti-obesity drugs in development, focusing on gut hormone-based therapies.