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New drug may eliminate the ‘double chin’

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Posted at 1:27 PM, Mar 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-12 19:05:16-04

An injection used to reduce the double chin has cleared its first obstacle in the path to being a product on the market. An advisory panel for the Food and Drug Administration unanimously approved ATX-101, an injection created by Kythera Biopharmaceuticals.

Kythera is a small biotech company based in California that says it has safely administered ATX-101 to over 2,600 patients, in nearly two dozen studies, over an eight year period. The technology may potentially yield a negative utopia in the fact that such a product would amplify our already physically perfecting seeking society.

According to Kythera Biopharmaceutical, the new drug, also known as ATX-101,is a formulation of deoxycholic acid that works to destroy fat cells underneath the chin, while leaving surrounding tissue unaffected. As of now, the only way to get rid of a double chin is to go under general anesthesia and liposuction which hold costs between $2,700 and $5,175.

As an alternative to surgery, the drug would potentially provide a safer way to achieve dramatic change. Dr. Susan Weinkle, is  a dermatologist in Bradenton, Florida, who helped test the drug in patients. According to Weinkle it causes fat cells to rupture, because “when you are born, you have a certain number of fat cells-during life, these fat cells can be either skinnier or fatter-when you cause a fat cell to rupture, that cell is gone forever.”

The new drug is causing some concerns that people will misuse the drug on other areas of the body they want to loose fat on. Additionally, although it is a huge breakthrough in the technology of pharmaceuticals, it raises the question in a world already full of plastic and Botox, how far is too far in body perfection?

Thus far, no safety issues have been have been associated with using ATX-101, and the FDA typically accepts the panel’s recommendations. Leerink Partners analyst Seamus Fernandez says that he expects the drug to be approved by May 13, which is when the FDA is scheduled to make its final decision; therefore, it would be made available by the end of this year.

Last year, Kythera regained rights to market the drug outside the U.S. and Canada from a unit of Germany’s Bayer AG. At this time, the drug is being reviewed by Canadian and Swiss regulators. Last year, Kythera regained rights to the market the drug outside the United States and Canada from a unit of Germany’s Bayer AG. With the potential release of this product on an international scale, it seems we are edging towards the dangers of a consumer society in this brave new world of technology.

-Meghan Puryear