Will the Needle Be the Future in Fat Reduction?

If you could inject your way to less fat, would you? The research developers at Kythera certainly hope so. Their ATX-101 product, a synthetic stomach acid of sorts, has been shown in clinical trials to eat away at excess double-chin fat. All without surgery.


This powerful fat-eating treatment will offer patients with an undesirable double chin the opportunity to recontour the area without going under the knife—an attractive option in today’s fast-paced, no time for downtime kind of lifestyle. Here’s how it works:


According to the company, ATX-101 is injected into the treatment area under the chin and goes to work targeting and destroying fat cells, all without damaging the surrounding skin and tissue. After the product is injected, the body’s natural response system clears out the dead cells.


ATX-101 Awaits Approval

While ATX-101 shows promise, slowly but surely making its way through the clinical trial process, it hasn’t yet been approved for use. To date, clinical trials have shown that ATX-101 is safe and effective in patients who undergo injections under the chin. Reported side effects include what you’d expect: injection site pain and redness, bruising, swelling, and general pain and numbness. All were temporary. As for results, the company reports that most (90%) patients in long-term follow up maintain their fat-loss results. Clinical measurements aside, what do the patients themselves think of the results. Overwhelmingly, they report being highly satisfied, says Kythera.


The ATX-101 results and safety profile bode well for patients who are otherwise not candidates for liposuction or simply prefer a few injections over the cannula. At the same time, ATX-101 won’t be the first choice for every patient. Similar to other non-surgical fat-loss techniques, this one will require multiple treatments spread out over the course of several weeks. Results aren’t instantaneous and will require realistic expectations and a good dose of patience to see final results.


Kythera is a clinical biopharmaceuticals company in aesthetic medicine. If and when ATX-101 is approved for use, it will be the first of its kind to achieve non-surgical reduction of submental fat. The injectable drug is currently in Phase III study.


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