Related Diseases

Obesity contributes to many other health risks, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, asthma, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and some cancers, among many others.1 Today some US$190 billion per year of healthcare spending, approximately 20% of US healthcare expenditures, is due to treating obesity and obesity-related conditions.2 This number will only continue to increase.

The Impact of Weight Loss on Comorbid Diseases1

Obesity is associated with many other health risks, and research has shown that weight loss may lead to improvements in comorbid diseases. Benefits begin to be seen following a 5% decrease in body weight, and NIH-recommended weight loss targets of 10-15% generally yield additional clinical benefits.

  • Weight loss can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in at-risk populations (those with glucose intolerance, a family history of type 2 diabetes or a history of gestational diabetes)
  • In individuals with type 2 diabetes, weight loss is associated with HbA1c reductions and a reduced need for diabetes medications
  • In patients with overweight or obesity, with or without increased risk for cardiovascular disease, losing weight can lead to a reduction in triglycerides and LDL-C
  • In patients with obesity and elevated cardiac risk or overweight and elevated cardiovascular disease risk, weight loss may lead to lower blood pressure

Leptin and Diabetes

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows the body to utilize glucose in the blood for energy. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance, in which the body is unable to properly respond to and utilize insulin. This leads to rising blood sugar levels and, depending on the degree of insulin resistance, a need for injected insulin or other treatments to maintain normal glucose levels.  

In addition to moderating energy conservation and expenditure, growing evidence suggests that the leptin hormone is a mediator of insulin secretion and sensitivity, thereby playing a key role in glycemic control3. ERX-2000 is a class of leptin sensitizing compound that is currently in the discovery stage for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. To date, ERX-2000 has shown anti-diabetic activity and weight-lowering ability in preclinical animal models.

Leptin and Other Metabolic Diseases

Research is currently ongoing on the potential role of leptin in diseases other than obesity and diabetes, such as cardiovascular disease and kidney disease.

  1. US Department of Health and Human Services National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Managing Overweight and Obesity in Adults. 2013.
  2. Pharmacoeconomics. 2015 Jul; 33(7): 673–689. doi: 10.1007/s40273-014-0243-x