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AstraZeneca has decided to discontinue the development of obesity drug AZD2820 after a patient given the drug as part of a Phase I trial suffered an allergic reaction.

Following the serious adverse event, a review could not confirm whether or not the issue was the related to the drug, but co-developer Palatin confirmed that it is unlikely that it was attributable to melanocortin receptor activation as an obesity treatment.

Despite these assurances, AstraZeneca has taken the decision to halt the ongoing trial and end development of the subcutaneously-administered peptide melanocortin-4 receptor partial agonist.

Palatin president and CEO Carl Spana confirmed that the patient had fully recovered, and offered assurances regarding the future of the company’s collaboration with AstraZeneca.

"The AZD2820 compound is part of a broader research and development collaboration with AstraZeneca. We have multiple classes of collaboration compounds in various stages of preclinical testing and AstraZeneca has informed us that they remain committed to the advancement of collaboration compounds for treatment of obesity," Spana said.

Collaboration between Palatin and AstraZeneca stems from a 2007 research collaboration and license agreement, established to discover, develop and commercialise compounds that target melanocortin receptors. Active development work conducted by Palatin concluded in January 2010, with AstraZeneca advancing compounds from that date.

Image: AstraZeneca Headquarters, located in Brentford, UK. Photo: Courtesy of AstraZeneca.