An Israeli company has invented a new chemical that significantly reduces body fat, even the type that can only be resolved by surgery.
In the U.S., an estimate of 25-65 percent of men is affected by gynecomastia, a common benign disorder of male breast tissue that results to swelling.
Gynecomastia is caused by an imbalance of hormones, where estrogens outnumber testosterones in the body.
While all men experience pubertal gynecomastia, which usually resolves within six months to two years of puberty, it is gynecomastia during adulthood that needs attention because it signals underlying health problems or a side effect of drug use.
Gynecomastia could affect a person negatively, particularly on a person’s self-esteem as well as other areas of mental and emotional health, according to a report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) in April 2013.
ASPS Member Surgeon Dr. Brian I. Labow said early medical intervention and treatment “may be necessary to improve the negative physical and emotional symptoms.”
Doctors first prescribe medicines to help resolve gynecomastia. When this cannot be resolved, surgery is the only option. And this is not an easy process to go through.
A single surgical procedure could take one hour or more and could result to bruising (although temporary), swelling, numbness, soreness, and a burning sensation.
There are also risks of infection; fluid accumulation; skin injury; rippling or bagginess of the skin; asymmetry; changes in skin pigmentation; excessive scarring; and a need for a second procedure to remove additional tissue.
Complete recovery could also take up to six months – not ideal for those who need to report to their day jobs immediately and those who may have to do strenuous activities.
But Raziel Therapeutics, a Jerusalem-based startup company, may just hold the easiest way to resolve gynecomastia and obesity.
Raziel’s new chemical, called RZL-012, has the potential to reduce fat of a certain body part by 50 percent.
“Raziel has developed a new chemical entity that after one treatment demonstrated significant fat reduction for long period,” according to a company profile statement sent to us.
“This fat reduction lasts for several months following a single treatment, with the ensuing ~30-50% reduction in s.c. (subcutaneous) fat at the treated site.”
RZL-012, when administered, creates a burning sensation that spreads in the applied area in 28 days. During the process, the drug removes the fat cells and delays the growth of new fat cells.
But perhaps the best part of it is that administering RZL-012 is done by injection. No knives. Nothing.
“Raziel offers local ablation to reduce swelling, eliminating the need for surgery,” the company said.
Alon Bloomenfield, the company CEO and who has a proven 20-year track record in biomed and high-tech companies, told The Times of Israel that a person may need to repeat injection every nine to 12 months in order to sustain the effect of fat reduction. But, of course, it depends on each person, he said.
Bloomenfield and his team of scientists and researchers intend to use RZL-012 in aesthetics as well as for people with gynecomastia, lipedema, Dercum’s disease, Lipoma, and Lipasarcoma.
They have already finalized the drug’s first clinical trial in the U.S. with promising results. Currently, a Phase 2a clinical testing in the U.S. with 32 patients is underway.
In Israel, Bloomenfield’s team will conduct two additional clinical studies, where they will use the drug for those with Lipoma and Lipasarcoma.
Some may consider this as the silver bullet for weight loss or obesity, but Bloomenfield says it does not work that way.
“It will not work if you don’t change your lifestyle,” he said.
“Of course, you can come and get the treatment every year. But don’t think that this is the best solution for people. They have to cooperate and to change their life.”
Doctor and endocrinologist Daniela Jakubowicz, a professor at Tel Aviv University and Virginia Commonwealth University, echoed the same thing.
“You can add any drug, but if you don’t do the appropriate diet, no drug, no injection will work,” she said.