Gene Therapy for Treatment of Obesity and Diabetes

Technology #16180

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Sergei Zolotukhin
Sean M Crosson
Cedrick Shawn Dotson
Seth Currlin
Managed By
April Kilburn
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending

Orally Applied rAAV Vector Induces Satiation and Weight Loss in Obese Individuals

This gene therapy uses a recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vector to simultaneously express peptide YY (PYY) and Exendin-4 (Ex-4) through oral administration, inducing satiation and weight loss and providing treatment for obesity. With rates of obesity steadily increasing in recent years, the global market for treatments of obesity is projected to reach $7.8 billion by 2021. A number of medical treatments are available for obesity. Stimulant medications can cause a moderate amount of weight loss; if used long term, however, they can have harmful side effects such as hypertension. Forms of bariatric surgery, while effective at causing weight loss, can have many serious risks and complications. Recent medical studies have concluded that certain peptides involved in the digestive tract can induce satiation after entering the bloodstream. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed an oral treatment for obesity that uses a dual rAAV vector to express both of the satiation gut peptides PYY and Ex-4 in the salivary gland of the subject, thereby increasing salivary content. This therapy also holds strong potential for success in the treatment of diabetes.


Dual PYY-Ex-4 rAAV vector that treats obesity and diabetes by inducing satiation and promoting weight loss


  • Uses a dual rAAV vector to simultaneously deliver PYY and Ex-4, causing rapid, significant weight loss while avoiding side effects and risks of other drugs and surgeries
  • Orally delivers satiation gut peptides through the salivary glands, increasing ease of use and patient adherence
  • Induces satiation and weight loss, providing a medical therapy to reduce body weight and treat obesity and diabetes


A number of gut peptides involved in digestion such as peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) are secreted into the bloodstream in response to nutrient uptake. PYY and Exendin-4 (Ex-4, a GLP-1 agonist) each individually modulate the consumption of food and body weight. When both PYY expression and Ex-4 expression are increased, the combination has a greater effect on body weight reduction compared to the increase of either alone. This therapy uses a dual rAAV vector that simultaneously expresses PYY and Ex-4 when applied to the salivary glands, thus causing satiation accompanied by a reduction in food intake level.