Altimmune has taken another step to claim its share in the growing obesity drug market with new data showing its drug pemvidutide (ALT-801) can induce weight loss and reduce dyslipidemia.

The Maryland, US-based company presented data from the Phase II MOMENTUM trial (NCT05295875) at the weight loss study at the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) 64th Scientific Sessions on 22 June. In the Phase IIb study, patients achieved a mean weight loss of 10.3%, 11.2%, and 15.6% at the 1.2 mg, 1.8 mg, and 2.4 mg doses, compared to 2.2% with placebo, respectively, at week 48. Moreover, the company says 78.1% of this weight loss was related to loss of fat.

On the previous day (22 June), Altimmune had released results demonstrating a pemvidutide related-reduction of inflammatory lipids. In the trial, serum lipids fell by 28%, 26%, and 38%, respectively, in the 1.2mg, 1.8mg, and 2.4mg groups. This includes a reduction in triglycerides, total cholesterol, and low-density lipid cholesterol. In the study, pemvidutide use was also correlated with a decrease in systolic blood pressure­­­.

The ADA conference, held from 21 – 24 June, gathered diabetes professionals, and academics alike, to discuss trends in the diabetes and obesity space and share new data from recent studies. Alongside Altimmune’s announcement, companies such as Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, and other pharma giants presented data from their recent trials studying metabolic disorders. For example, Eli Lilly shared positive results from the SURMOUNT-OSA study (NCT05412004) investigating Mounjaro (tirzepatide) for obstructive sleep apnoea, while Novo Nordisk announced data from the SELECT study (NCT03574597) evaluating cardiovascular outcomes for semaglutide, which is sold as Ozempic or Wegovy.

Pemvidutide is a peptide-based GLP-1/glucagon dual receptor agonist in development for the treatment of obesity and metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH). Altimmune is currently investigating the drug for the treatment of MASH in the ongoing Phase IIb IMPACT study (NCT05989711). GlobalData’s consensus forecasts predict that the therapy could generate $1.16bn in 2030.

GlobalData is the parent company of Pharmaceutical Technology.

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In a 23 June press release, Dr. Vipin K. Garg, Altimmune’s CEO said, “The preservation of lean mass observed in this trial was better than reported historically with diet and exercise programs and greater than what has been publicly reported with other incretin weight loss drugs, where lean mass has accounted for as much as 40% of total weight loss.”

GlobalData’s 2024 “State of the Biopharmaceutical Industry” report predicted that anti-obesity drug development would be 2024’s most impactful trend. In the last decade, the obesity and diabetes drug space has become increasingly saturated with blockbusters such as Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic (semaglutide) and Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro (tirzepatide) achieving significant commercial success. For example, in its annual earnings report, Novo Nordisk reported that its GLP-1 diabetes portfolio had a 48% sales increase in 2024, driving the company’s diabetes and obesity sales to DKK 215.1 bn ($30.95 bn).