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Welcome to the Empowered Patient Podcast with Karen Jagoda.  This show is a window into the latest innovations in applying generative AI, novel therapeutics and vaccines, and the changing dynamics in the medical and healthcare environment. One focus is on how providers, pharmaceutical companies, and payers are empowering patients.  In addition, conversations are often about how providers, care facilities, pharmaceutical companies, and payers are being empowered by technology to improve patient outcomes and reduce friction across the healthcare landscape.

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Empowered Patient Solutions

Jun 24, 2024

Dr. Steffen-Sebastian Bolz, Chief Scientific Officer of Swiss-based Aphaia Pharma, shines a light on the excitement around weight loss drugs due to the discovery that GLP-1 agonists and points out the shift in the perception of obesity as a root cause of various health issues. Aphaia Pharma's approach involves stimulating hormone production in the small intestine by reinvigorating the mechanism that has become dormant due to the ingestion of highly refined foods. The company is also exploring the effects of the circadian rhythm on weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.  

Steffen elaborates, "What is understood now is obesity is the root cause of many sequel pathologies like type 2 diabetes, diabetes, fatty liver disease, and a whole lot of cardiovascular disease. So, the idea is that if we get obesity under control and the obesity pandemic under control, we might also lower the incidence of all the other diseases. There’s a massive rush into this field because there are already blockbuster drugs in the market, as you just said, and there are already 1 billion people worldwide who are obese and our projections predict that rapid growth of these numbers. So this is kind of the gold rush."

"Let me start with briefly outlining the mode of action of GLP-1 agonists. A common denominator of all metabolic diseases, either obesity or a related disease, is a lack of hormone output from the small intestine. What’s behind this is that the small intestine is capable of producing hormones in response to food intake."

"All these hormones act in an orchestrated fashion to allow digestion, proper immune control, and all these things. It was found that all these hormones are reduced in patients with obesity, and GLP-1 agonists replace one of those hormones, GLP-1. They do this by injecting very high doses to yield the effects we’re seeing, such as type 2 diabetes control and weight loss. But that’s just the hormone replacement therapy. That’s just one hormone out of a large portfolio, out of hundreds of hormones produced by the small intestine. And that is exactly where our thought process started."

#AphaiaPharma #Obesity #GLP1Agonists #SmallIntestine #WeightLoss

Download the transcript here