Amid forecasts that the obesity therapy market will rapidly grow, local researchers have increasingly registered patents related to the treatment of obesity.
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) said it has granted more than six obesity-targeting patents in August.
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) registered the patent on “Compositions for Preventing or Treating Metabolic Diseases.” The inventors are Professor Kim Ha-il and two other KAIST researchers.
According to the researchers, the patent offers compositions to prevent or treat metabolic diseases that include TPH 1 (Tryptophan hydroxylase 1), the HTR2A (5-hydroxytryptamine 2A receptor), or the HTR 3 (5-hydroxytryptamine 3 receptor) inhibitor. They hope that the patent will help prevent obesity-caused adult diseases.
“In modern society, the prevalence of diseases, including type-2 diabetes, hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, hypercholesterolemia, and arteriosclerosis, are increasing, the researchers said. “Heart disease and stroke are rapidly rising, and they have become the second and third leading causes of death in Korea.”
Caregen, an R&D-based firm specializing in skin care and peptide, also registered a patent called “Peptide Having Anti-Diabetic and Anti-Obesity Effects and Its Use.”
The company said the invented peptide suppresses fat accumulation and decompose already-accumulated fat. The invention also reduces blood sugar levels effectively, which could show efficacy in diabetes, according to the company.
The latest peptide could be much safer than conventional obesity treatments, the company said.
“Obesity treatments can be divided into two types of drugs – one applies to the central nervous system to affect appetite and the other acts on the gastrointestinal tract to inhibit absorption,” Caregen said in the patent description. “Some existing drugs were banned because of side effects, and others could not be used for patients with heart failure and kidney disease for concerns of decreased blood pressure or lactic acidosis.”
It went on to say, “The invented peptide shows an excellent effect for diabetes and obesity-associated diabetes. High-fat diet causes fat accumulation in liver and muscles, which suppresses insulin signals. This causes insulin resistance, leading to diabetes. This peptide can be used to prevent or treat diabetes or obesity-related diabetes.”
Other obesity-related patents registered this month include injection compositions for local fat decomposition, anti-obesity composition with red bean skin extract as the active ingredient, and anti-appetite suppression balloon with a marker that can be checked by medical imaging equipment.