Manipulating Body Fat using NPY Y2 Receptor Agonist and Antagonist

Categories: “Other Disorders

Reference #: 2005-027

OTC Contact: Ruchika Nijhara, Ph.D., MBA (Directory Information | Send a Message)


The present technology describes a simple and novel method to add and remove fat in targeted areas through a local injection of non-toxic chemicals. Georgetown researchers demonstrate that the NPY Y2 receptor agonist is able to stabilize and enhance fat growth into a specific area where it is injected. On the other hand, both weight gain and metabolic parameters that are associated with weight gain were prevented by injection of NPY Y2 receptor blocker into the abdominal fat. The technology has the potential to revolutionize human cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery and the treatment of diseases associated with human obesity. The ability to add fat as a graft would be useful for facial rejuvenation, breast surgery, buttock and lip enhancement, and facial reconstruction. Further, using these injections would make grafts predictable, inexpensive, biocompatible and permanent. Equally important, blocking NPY Y2 receptor to eliminate undesirable body fat in a non-surgical manner is safe and effective method that would offer great benefits to the patients. Liposuction and other cosmetic procedures to reduce body fat have a huge market but such procedures require anesthesia and surgery and a recovery period which means time away from work. Noninvasive or minimally invasive methods to reduce body fat would have an enormous benefit for the cosmetic surgery patients. Currently, no proven nonsurgical method to remove fat is FDA approved in the United States. Further, the invention offers new opportunities for the treatment and prevention of obesity and metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.


  • Stand alone therapy for fat remodeling of smaller areas
  • Adjunct therapy to traditional weight loss techniques.
  • Can be used in corrective procedures, for instance, to fill in depression caused by surgical procedures.
  • Wound healing


  • Non-invasive procedure
  • Site-specific application- prevents potential complications from systemic administration
  • Fine tuning of fat tissue possible
  • Custom modeling based on patients’ needs
  • Local delivery of the chemicals provide better efficacy to the target cell type(s).

Stage of Development

Proof-of-concept studies done in mice models.

Neuropeptide Y (NPY) induces fat xenograft survival in a primate model. Magnetic resonance imaging cross-sections show a thicker fat pad in animals treated with neuropeptide Y compared with controls.

Relevant Publications

  • Neuropeptide Y acts directly in the periphery on fat tissue and mediates stress-induced obesity and metabolic syndrome.” Zukowska Z. et al. Nat Med. 2007 Jul;13(7).
  • “The role of the neuropeptide Y2 receptor in liporemodeling: neuropeptide Y-mediated adipogenesis and adipose graft maintenance.” Baker SB, Zukowska Z et al. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009 Feb;123(2):486-92.
  • “NPY and NPY receptors in vascular remodeling”; Zukowska Z. et al. Curr Top Med Chem. 2007;7(17):1704-9.


Zofia Zukowska, Lydia Kuo, Steven Baker, Michael Johnson, Edward Lee.

Patent Status

PCT application entitled “Compositions and Methods for Lipomodeling” published under # WO 2006/133160 on December 14, 2006. Corresponding patent applications filed in US, Europe, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia.