Hospital Research Partnership Targets Obesity

John Commins, December 30, 2010

Florida Hospital and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have teamed up with Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. to research and evaluate new drug therapies for obesity and its negative health consequences such as diabetes and heart disease, the three entities jointly announced.

“There is an epidemic of obesity in the US; two-thirds of Americans are now overweight or obese. These staggering statistics serve as a call for decisive action, including innovative bench-to-bedside translational research,” says Steven R. Smith, MD, scientific director of the Florida Hospital-Sanford-Burnham Translational Research Institute (TRI) for Metabolism and Diabetes, where the Florida Hospital work will be performed. “This partnership with Takeda, TRI and Sanford-Burnham represents a major milestone in the quest for a better understanding of obesity as a disease and a pathway forward for the development of safe and effective therapies.”

The Centers for Disease Control report that more than one-third of Americans are overweight and another one-third are obese. Obesity causes at least 112,000 premature deaths in the United States each year and reduces lifespan by up to eight years. Medical-related expenses attributable to obesity are projected to top $344 billion by 2018.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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