Altimmune Announces Successful Completion of Multiple Dose Toxicity and Toxicokinetic Studies of ALT-801, a GLP-1/Glucagon Dual Receptor Agonist for the Treatment of NASH
- Category: Proteins and Peptides
- Published on Tuesday, 01 September 2020 17:48
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Company anticipates first-in-human trials to start in Q4 2020
GAITHERSBURG, MD, USA I September 01, 2020 I Altimmune, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALT), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced the successful completion of multiple dose toxicity and toxicokinetic studies of ALT-801, a GLP-1/glucagon dual receptor agonist for the treatment of NASH. The IND enabling studies were conducted in rats and cynomolgus monkeys. The Company believes the data provide clear validation of previously observed pharmacodynamic effects of the compound and pave the way for the anticipated Phase 1 single (SAD) and multiple ascending dose (MAD) clinical trials to start in Q4 2020, following the submission of a clinical trial application in Australia.
ALT-801 was well tolerated in both rats and cynomolgus monkeys and the no-observed-adverse-effect levels (NOAEL) in both species were at the highest doses tested. The most remarkable finding was significant weight loss versus the control groups in both species, which is an expected and desired property of ALT-801. Importantly, no evidence of significant GI toxicity or intolerability, including vomiting, was observed in the animals. GLP-1 receptor agonists and dual agonists that are approved or in clinical development have been associated with significant levels of nausea and vomiting and have typically required the use of dose-titration over several months. The observations from the recently completed toxicology studies suggest that ALT-801 can be expected to be well tolerated in humans and not require dose titration, potentially enabling higher levels of weight loss and liver fat reduction than existing GLP-1 receptor agonist based compounds.
The nonhuman primate data also showed an ALT-801 pharmacokinetic profile that is expected to support weekly dosing in humans. The Company believes that the proprietary EuPort™ modification on ALT-801 not only provides the longer half-life necessary for weekly dosing but also slows the rate of absorption of the compound into the bloodstream to avoid the tolerability issues typically associated with this class of agents. Based upon the successful completion of these preclinical toxicology studies, Altimmune plans to initiate first-in-human studies of ALT-801 in Q4 2020, with data readouts on safety, pharmacokinetics, and important measures of activity such as weight loss and liver fat reduction in the Spring of 2021.
“Currently there are no approved treatments for NASH, and disease prevalence is growing worldwide as a consequence of an expanding obesity epidemic. These data are right in line with our expectation for ALT-801 and provide additional confidence as we look forward to initiating the first-in-human studies later this year,” said Dr. Vipin K. Garg, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Altimmune. Dr. Garg continued, “In addition to our significant efforts to develop a vaccine and a treatment for COVID-19, we are pleased to continue the development of other therapeutic candidates of importance to public health across our product portfolio.”
ALT-801 is a potent, peptide-based therapeutic candidate with balanced agonist activity on the GLP-1 and glucagon (GCGR) receptors. ALT-801 is designed to treat the underlying metabolic dysfunction that leads to NASH, the most severe form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NASH is considered by many to be the liver manifestation of metabolic syndrome and is characterized by abnormal accumulation of fat in the liver, toxic lipid metabolites, inflammation and liver cell damage leading to fibrosis/cirrhosis and liver cancer.
ALT-801 activates both the GLP-1 and the glucagon receptors, resulting in appetite suppression, decreased insulin insensitivity, increased energy expenditure, and substantial decreases in both liver and body fat in relevant animal models. ALT-801 has a similar mechanism of action to the body’s natural dual-acting hormone, oxyntomodulin, which lowers food intake, stimulates energy expenditure and reduces body weight. ALT-801 is designed to achieve glycemic control comparable to or better than the approved GLP-1 agonists but with more robust weight loss with once-weekly subcutaneous dosing.
ALT-801 demonstrated better outcome measures in comparison to semaglutide (an approved GLP-1 receptor agonist) in the Gubra/Amylin biopsy-proven, diet-induced mouse model of NASH. During a 12-week study, treatment with ALT-801 rapidly returned body weight to the range of lean normal animals. Histology revealed a near complete absence of liver steatosis, lobular inflammation and ballooning, as well as a significant reduction of fibrosis. Semaglutide showed only a modest body weight loss and a mild decrease in hepatosteatosis. ALT-801 also resulted in greater suppression of genes involved in de novo lipogenesis and fatty acid uptake, inflammation, hepatocellular death, and fibrosis.
Altimmune is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing intranasal vaccines, immune modulating therapies and treatments for liver disease. Our diverse pipeline includes proprietary intranasal vaccines for COVID-19 (AdCOVID™), anthrax (NasoShield™) and influenza (NasoVAX™); an intranasal immune modulating therapeutic for COVID-19 (T-COVID™); and next generation peptide therapeutics for NASH (ALT-801) and chronic hepatitis B (HepTcell™). For more information on Altimmune, please visit www.altimmune.com.