Obesity and associated co-morbidities, such as type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, are major health challenges. Hence, there is an important need to develop weight loss therapies with the ability to reduce the co-morbidities.

The effect of the dual amylin and calcitonin receptor agonist (DACRA), KBP-089, on body weight, glucose homeostasis and fatty acid accumulation in liver and muscle tissue and on food preference was investigated. Furthermore, we elucidated weight-independent effects of KBP-089 using a weight-matched group.

Rats fed a high-fat diet were treated, s.c., with KBP-089 0.625, 1.25, 2.5 μg·kg-1 or vehicle. KB-089 induced in a dose-dependent and sustained weight loss (~17% by 2.5 μg·kg-1 ). Moreover, KBP-089 reduced fat depot size and reduced lipid accumulation in muscle and liver. In Zucker Diabetic Fatty rats, KBP-089 improved glucose homeostasis through improved insulin action. To obtain a weight-matched group, significantly less food was offered (9% less than in the KBP-089 group). Weight matching led to improved glucose homeostasis by reducing plasma insulin; however, these effect were inferior compared to those of KBP-089. In the food preference test, rats fed a normal diet obtained 74% of their calories from chocolate. KBP-089 reduced total caloric intake and induced a relative increase in chow consumption while drastically reducing chocolate consumption compared with vehicle.

The novel DACRA, KBP-089, induces a sustained weight loss, leading to improved metabolic parameters including food preference, and these are beyond those observed simply by diet-induced weight loss.