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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2011, Article ID 957268, 11 pages
Clinical Study

Perspectives of CB1 Antagonist in Treatment of Obesity: Experience of RIO-Asia

1Department of Endocrinology, Chinese PLA, General Hospital, No. 28, Fuxing Road, Beijing 100853, China
2Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital, 94-200, Yeongdeungpo-Dong, Yeongdeungpo-Gu Seoul 150-719, Republic of Korea
3Department of Medical Research & Education, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No. 201, Sec. 2, Shih-Pai Road, Taipei 112, Taiwan
4Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No. 201, Sec. 2, Shih-Pai Road, Taipei 112, Taiwan
5Institute of Physiology, National Yang-Ming University, No. 155, Li-Nong Street, Taipei 112, Taiwan

Received 10 June 2010; Accepted 9 November 2010

Academic Editor: S. B. Heymsfield

Copyright © 2011 Changyu Pan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Rimonabant, a selective cannabinoid-1 (CB1) receptor antagonist, has been shown to reduce weight and enhance improvements in cardiometabolic risk parameters in Western populations. This study assessed these effects of rimonabant in Asian population. A total of 643 patients (BMI 25  or greater without diabetes) from China, Republic of Korea, and Taiwan were prescribed a hypocaloric diet (600 kcal/day deficit) and randomized to rimonabant 20 mg ( ) or placebo ( ) for 9months. The primary efficacy variable was weight change from baseline after 9 months of treatment. Results showed that rimonabant group lost more weight than placebo, (LSM ± SEM of −4.7 ± 0.3 kg vs. −1.7 ± 0.3 kg, ). The 5% and 10% responders were 2 or 3 folds more in the rimonabant group (53.0% vs. 20.0% and 21.5% vs. 5.7%, resp.) ( ). Rimonabant also significantly increased HDL-cholesterol, decreased triglycerides and waist circumference,by 7.1%, 10.6%, and 2.8 cm, respectively ( ). This study confirmed the comparable efficacy and safety profile of rimonabant in Asian population to Caucasians. Owing to the recent suspension of all the CB1 antagonists off the pharmaceutical market for weight reduction in Europe and USA, a perspective in drug discovery for intervening peripheral CB1 receptor in the management of obesity is discussed.