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ZGN-1061 improves glycaemic control and body weight

Patients treated with ZGN-1061 for four weeks lost weight relative to placebo-treated patients (-4.6 lbs, -2.2 lbs, and -3.8 lbs for 0.2mg, 0.6mg, and 1.8mg, respectively vs. -0.51 lbs for placebo).
Treatment with ZGN-1061 resulted in a trend for reduced food intake relative to placebo

Zafgen has announced new data for ZGN-1061, its second-generation MetAP2 inhibitor, at the American Diabetes Association's 77th Annual Scientific Sessions (ADA), that shows ZGN-1061 treatment causes improvements across multiple metabolic measures consistent with MetAP2 inhibition. The data demonstrated rapid drug absorption and clearance, and showed a favourable safety profile with no evidence of pro-thrombotic effects.

"The results presented at ADA highlight the favourable safety and pharmacokinetic profile of ZGN-1061 and demonstrate its potential to positively impact glycaemic control, weight loss and other metabolic parameters," said Dr Thomas Hughes, President and Chief Executive Officer of Zafgen. "Based on the data generated to date, as well as our deep experience with MetAP2 inhibition, we believe ZGN-1061 offers a novel opportunity to address the unmet medical need of patients failing other therapies and who are at the challenging interface of type 2 diabetes and obesity."

ZGN-1061 is a fumagillin-class, injectable small molecule second generation MetAP2 inhibitor that was advanced into development due to its properties that maximize impact on metabolic parameters relevant to the treatment of type 2 diabetes and other related metabolic disorders. In pre-clinical studies, ZGN-1061 has demonstrated promising efficacy in animal models of type 2 diabetes and obesity, with an improved pharmacokinetic profile and safety margin relative to previous molecules in the MetAP2 class.

As demonstrated clinically for MetAP2 inhibitors, ZGN-1061 is anticipated to improve glycaemic control while also helping to restore balance to fat metabolism, enabling calories to once again be used as a productive energy source, leading to improved metabolic control and long-term weight loss.

The first presentation, "Single and Multiple Dose Evaluation of a Novel MetAP2 Inhibitor: Results of a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial," details the full results from the Phase 1 clinical trial of ZGN-1061, including efficacy data related to secondary endpoints. The multiple ascending dose (MAD) phase evaluated twice-weekly administration of ZGN-1061 in overweight or obese patients (ZGN-1061 n=22, placebo n=7; average BMI33). Patients in the MAD phase were domiciled while receiving treatment and were subjected to inpatient safety monitoring for most of the clinical trial's 28-day duration. 

Data from the clinical trial are highlighted below:

  • As previously reported, on average, patients treated with ZGN-1061 for four weeks lost weight relative to placebo-treated patients (-4.6 lbs, -2.2 lbs, and -3.8 lbs for 0.2mg, 0.6mg, and 1.8mg, respectively vs. -0.51 lbs for placebo).
  • Body weight loss was steady and progressive during treatment with ZGN-1061 and rebounded post-treatment, supporting a drug effect.
  • ZGN-1061 produced improvements in waist circumference relative to placebo. In addition, treatment with ZGN-1061 resulted in a trend for reduced food intake relative to placebo.

According to the company, the clinical trial demonstrated trends for reductions in LDL-cholesterol, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP). Notably, there were greater reductions in mean LDL-cholesterol and hsCRP in ZGN-1061-treated subjects with abnormally elevated LDL or hsCRP at baseline.

The clinical trial also showed a trend for reductions in leptin and increases in adiponectin with ZGN-1061 compared to placebo, reflective of favourable changes in adipose function and signalling.

Single and repeat doses of ZGN-1061 were generally safe and well tolerated. There were no severe adverse events (AEs), no serious AEs (SAEs), and no AEs leading to early withdrawal from the clinical trial.

"The data emerging from our ZGN-1061 programme are quite encouraging, and reinforce our confidence in the candidate as we advance toward initiating our Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with type 2 diabetes who are obese, in the second half of 2017," said Dr Dennis Kim, Chief Medical Officer of Zafgen. "We are particularly impressed with the optimised safety profile of ZGN-1061, as well as new preclinical data supporting the potential to impact both glycaemic control and insulin resistance, consistent with MetAP2 inhibition."

Preclinical data presented at the meeting demonstrated that ZGN-1061 showed similar effects on diabetes, obesity and other metabolic endpoints, but with a greatly improved safety profile in comparison to the Company's prior development compound, beloranib.

In a second presentation, "The MetAP2 Inhibitor ZGN-1061 Improves Glycemia and has Weight Loss Efficacy with an Improved Safety Profile in Preclinical Models," Zafgen presented results from a study comparing ZGN-1061, beloranib and vehicle in a mouse model of obesity and insulin resistance, as well as in vitro and in vivo data demonstrating the impact of ZGN-1061 versus beloranib on multiple thrombotic markers. Highlights of the data include:

  • ZGN-1061 showed statistically significant improvements in glycaemic control, insulin sensitivity, body weight, body fat, lipids and cardiometabolic biomarkers compared to vehicle, and these improvements were comparable to those seen for beloranib.
  • ZGN-1061 is rapidly metabolised and cleared following administration, with a much shorter half-life than beloranib, minimizing exposure to the compound while driving desired metabolic effects.
  • ZGN-1061 displays a reduced impact on endothelial cells compared to beloranib, and on several thrombotic markers, including P21, thrombomodulin, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), in vitro, as well as thrombin time and D-dimer in vivo.
  • ZGN-1061 has improved safety margins for morbidity and coagulopathy, with a 200-fold margin for ZGN-1061 compared to approximately 4-fold for a clinically equivalent dose of beloranib. 

Zafgen recently completed its first Phase 1 clinical trial of ZGN-1061, and is planning to advance the compound to Phase 2 clinical testing in patients with type 2 diabetes who are overweight or obese. Zafgen holds exclusive worldwide rights for the development and commercialisation of ZGN-1061.

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