11.09.2012 - Swedish-British pharma Astra Zeneca has stopped the development of one obesity drug but promises to back partner Palatin with the other candidates.
US company Palatin Technologies, Inc. (Cranbury) experienced a setback for one of its developed drugs in June this year when its partner AstraZeneca PLC from Europe paused a Phase I clinical trial after a serious adverse event. Now, the Swedish-British pharma giant decided, after a thorough review, to end the development of this drug completely. However, Palatin also announced that AstraZeneca remains committed to the collaboration programme at large to discover, develop and commercialise compounds that target melanocortin-4 receptors for the treatment of obesity, diabetes and related metabolic syndrome.
The ditched clinical candidate called AZD2820 is a subcutaneously-administered peptide that partially agonises the melanocortin-4 receptor. Phase I clinical trials as a single-agent therapy for the treatment of obesity started in the first half of 2011 after AstraZeneca had selected the drug from the collaborative research programme with Palatin Technologies. The single centre study was expected to enrol 90 subjects with a body mass index between 30 and 35 in a randomised, single-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase I trial in healthy male volunteers. After 11 subjects had completed their dosing regimen, the trial was halted by the Safety Review Committee because it suspected that one subject may have had an allergic reaction following his first dose. The volunteer fully recovered but the review by AstraZeneca said that it cannot be excluded that the adverse reactiom was linked to AZD2820. The company however also stated, that it is unlikely that this event was related to melanocortin receptor activation as a mode of action.
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