In November, the FDA approved tesamorelin (Egrifta; formerly known as TH9507) for treatment of a type of lipodystrophy in HIV positive people taking antiretroviral therapy. Tesamorelin is a synthetic growth hormone-releasing factor that stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete more human growth hormone.
Approval was based on clinical trials showing that daily tesamorelin injections significantly decreased visceral abdominal fat and lowered total cholesterol levels. The drug was generally well-tolerated and caused fewer side effects than growth hormone itself. For more information, see "Drug Watch: Tesamorelin Update," in this issue.
Liz Highleyman (email@example.com) is a freelance medical writer based in San Francisco.