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New drug found to melt away heart-clogging fat with just one dose

  • Mice tested with the drug saw artery fat deposits 'melt away' say researchers
  • Drug was originally developed to tackle cancer and diabetes
  • Next step for scientists is to begin human testing

A new drug designed for tackling cancer and diabetes has been found to melt away fat that clogs up arteries.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen claim that just a single dose of the new drug Trodusquemine can completely reverse the effects of Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the build-up of fatty plaque inside arteries which in turn can cause a number of different heart problems. In particular, it is the condition that causes heart attacks and strokes.

All humans have some level of fatty streaks in their arteries which develop further with age, according to Mirela Delibegovic, a professor at the university, who is helping to lead the study.

Her team at the University of Aberdeen tested mice and found that those given either a single a dose or a regular treatment of Trodusquemine, then had less fatty plaques in their arteries.

"These have only been tested at pre-clinical level, in mice, so far but the results were quite impressive and showed that just a single dose of this drug seemed to completely reverse the effects of arthrosclerosis," Delibegovic said.

She added the next step was to conduct human trials.

The drug is already undergoing separate trials for treating breast cancer and diabetes, where it inhibits an enzyme called PTP1B.

The researchers found that it also stimulated the action of another protein (AMPK), which effectively mimics exercise and reduces chronic inflammation.

The £236,000 ($308,000) study to further investigate the drug's effect on Atherosclerosis was funded by the British Heart Foundation.