Altimmune posts a metabolic let-down

The project formerly known as ALT-801, which caused much excitement when interim data from a phase 1 trial obesity trial last year showed promising levels of weight loss, has rather let itself down with data in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (Nafld) today. Altimmune’s dual GLP-1 and glucagon receptor agonist, now called pemvidutide, met the study’s primary endpoint at three months, with all doses showing a reduction in liver fat content. The lack of a dose-response on this measure is perhaps explained by the four-week titration employed at the 2.4mg dose. But weight loss data in particular disappointed; mean placebo-adjusted weight loss of 4.1% in subjects with or without diabetes with the 1.8mg dose compares poorly with the 6.3% seen in six-week interim phase 1 data in obesity, released last year. It is also some way behind the spectacular results posted by Lilly’s Mounjaro earlier this year. True, today’s data on pemvi come from a Nafld trial rather than a study specifically in obesity, and the trial enrolled patients with or without diabetes, whereas the obesity study excluded diabetics. But the 31% fall in Altimmune’s stock speaks for itself: investors wanted more. 

Cross-trial comparison of reductions in body weight
  Ph1 obesity data (6 weeks) Ph1b in Nafld (12 weeks)
Dose 1.8mg 1.2mg 2.4mg 1.8mg 1.2mg
Placebo-adjusted weight loss -6.3% -2.7% -3.5% -4.1% -3.2%
P value vs placebo <0.0001 <0.05 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001
Nausea rates* 22.2% 14.3% 25.0% 26.1% 13.0%
*Classed as transient in obesity study and mild in Nafld study. Source company releases.

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