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Apr 18, 2008

Obetech and Scandinavian Clinical Nutrition Form Joint Venture to Combat Virus-Induced Obesity

  • Obetech and Scandinavian Clinical Nutrition (SCN) are forming a joint venture to commercialize diagnostics and therapeutics related to adenovirus 36 (Ad-36), a common cold virus that has been associated with obesity.

    The newly formed Swedish company, Scandivir, will kick off with a diagnostic already developed by Obetech and  antiviral technologies from SCN, which is a nutraceutical firm. SCN will contract Obetech to develop more diagnostics and therapeutic solutions. These will be licensed to Scandivir for promotion and distribution.

    Currently, Obetech offers a diagnostic test that checks for Ad-36 antibodies in the blood. By confirming an individual has been infected with Ad-36, the test can help them predict future weight problems and/or explain unexpected weight gain, the companies note. Obetech is beginning research work to identify drugs that prevent weight gain in Ad-36 infected people and that produce weight loss in overweight or obese people.

    At last year’s national meeting of the American Chemical Society, findings were presented showing that infection with Ad-36 transforms adult stem cells obtained from fat tissue into fat cells. Stem cells not exposed to the virus, in contrast, were unchanged. Previous research found that 30% of obese people were infected with Ad-36 in comparison to 11% of lean individuals.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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