08/26/2013 12:23 EDT

Drug SR9009 Mimics Exercise Boosting Metabolic Activity And Running Capacity

Not in the mood for the gym today?

Or, maybe ever?

It's all right. There may soon be a pill for that.

Scientists say experimental drug SR9009 may boost metabolic activity and running capacity -- essentially mimicking the effects of exercise.

The findings, published in Nature Medicine last month, may be just what the doctor ordered for people suffering from chronic obesity, congestive heart failure -- or any condition which makes physical exercise difficult.

So far, of course, the drug, which was originally developed in 2012, has only been tested on mice. But with the drug increasing running capacity 50-fold in mice, Nature World News reports, can supermen be far behind?

"The animals actually get muscles like an athlete who has been training,” said Thomas Burris, a professor at The Scripps Research Institute in Florida, who originally developed the compound. “The pattern of gene expression after treatment with SR9009 is that of an oxidative-type muscle— again, just like an athlete.”

The latest study was conducted by an international team of scientists at Institut Pasteur de Lille in France and focused on a naturally occurring molecule in the human body called Rev-erbα.

Researchers say SR9009 latches onto Rev-erbα -- which plays a role in regulating the body's circadian rhythm and metabolism -- resulting in a pronounced metabolic boost in test subjects.

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