Doctors in the US have developed a new drug which leads to weight loss without dieting or exercise, which has had promising results in animal testing.
Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston gave overweight monkeys a drug called adipotide, a protein compound which targets the blood supply to fat cells and kills them.
After 28 days of daily injections, the monkeys lost an average of 11 percent of their body weight, the US' MSNBC reported.
"It is incredibly exciting, a dream coming true in slow motion," says Dr Wadih Arap, who led the study along with wife Dr Renata Pasqualini.
"Within a few weeks of administering the drug it became clear to us that the efficacy we had seen in rodents was being transplanted to monkeys," said researcher Kristin Barnhart.
"They were getting their waistlines back so we were staring to see the effect. It was such an important milestone for the drug."
After the monkeys returned to their colonies however, they regained the lost weight. Researchers said that although the results were promising, the drug would not be a permanent solution for weight loss, but rather a kick-start for initial weight loss, along with future diet and exercise.
In 2004 drug trials led to substantial weight loss in mice, and after similar results in monkeys the researchers have applied for FDA approval to begin trials in humans, possibly within a year.
The researchers also noticed slight, reversible kidney changes that will need to be monitored closely in human trials.
The study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.