S3-E34.3 – ILC2022 Looking Back: Early Pemvidutide Results and a Little More on FIB-4

S3-E34.3 - ILC2022 Looking Back: Early Pemvidutide Results and a Little More on FIB-4
Stephen Harrison leads the regular Surfers, Mazen Noureddin and Michelle Long through a discussion of Phase 1 results for pemvidutide, Altimune's dual GLP-1/glucagon agonist for obesity (and presumably NASH), based on his presentation at ILC2022.

Last week, roughly 5,000 liver community stakeholders gathered in London for the 2022 International Liver Congress (#ILC2022,) the first major hepatology Congress to be held in person since the start of the pandemic (smaller, but very valuable, meetings like NASH-TAG, LiverCONNECT and Paris NASH have taken place with an in-person component, but the International Liver Congress and The Liver Meeting have not). On the last full day of the program, several vitally important drug development studies were presented during the late-breaker and dedicated sessions. The conversations in this episode will review some of the most important findings This particular conversation focuses largely on Stephen Harrison’s presentation of results of a Phase 1 trial for pemvidutide, a dual GLP-1/glucagon agonist, at this meeting.

The conversation starts with a brief discussion about the appropriate context for using and interpreting FIB-4 results. The closing comment for this discussion comes from Michelle Long, who suggests that use of FIB-4 is context-sensitive: “You have to know what’s your question and how are you thinking of using this test” because its usefulness changes depending on the disease prevalence in the population being studied.

From here, Stephen starts to discuss a Phase 1 trial for pemvidutide that he presented at #ILC2022. Of the 34 patients in this trial, 8 had fat in their livers; all were overweight or obese. Stephen describes the GLP_1/glucagon combination as being like “not eating and exercising at the same time” because GLP-1s work on satiety control and gastric emptying (not eating) while glucagon increases overall metabolism and specifically revs up lipid metabolism (exercise) “because you’re cutting the intake of calories [while] increasing the burn rate through the liver. He goes on to note the reason that by lowering Cmax and increasing Tmax, it demonstrates the pharmacokinetic profile of a q1w drug. Of the 8 patients with measurable liver fat, all dropped below the level of detection at the 1.8 and 2.4 doses (representing a 90% reduction). Stephen closes his discussion of the trial by mentioning dramatic weight loss levels and a 14-15% drop in liver volume over 12 weeks.

All the panelists express positive reactions to these results. In response to a question from Roger, Mazen says they are as good as endo-bariatric surgery or better. As the conversation ends, Mazen goes on to ask whether this is an acute or maintenance medication and states he suspects it will be lifetime maintenance.

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