Obesity Gene Discovered? Company Says it is the First to Identify the Gene


By: Jan Chait

A gene said to cause obesity in humans has reportedly been discovered, according to an October 29, 2002, news release from Myriad Genetics, Inc., a company based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The gene, called Human Obesity 1 (HOB1) in recognition of its direct causal tie to obesity, also “appears to provide an important molecular link between obesity and diabetes,” the company claims, adding that the discovery of HOB1 is a “necessary first step” toward the development of a therapeutic treatment for obesity.

Myriad speculates that the HOB1 gene is likely to be vulnerable to drug therapy that would block the gene function, noting that “it is generally far easier to block a drug target than to replace its lost function.”

The news release did not indicate a time line for developing a pharmaceutical agent to block HOB1.



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