Melanocortin Receptor R&D to Target Increasing Prevalence of Obesity-Related Disorders

Palm Beach, FL – October 19, 2023 – News Commentary  – The Melanocortin Receptor 4 (MC4R) is a protein-coupled receptor primarily expressed in the central nervous system, playing a pivotal role in regulating energy balance and food intake. As a Consultant or Industry expert, it is crucial to understand the significance of MC4R within the context of market trends and potentials. The market for MC4R has been witnessing steady growth owing to advancements in research and an increasing understanding of its role in metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes. This has driven research and development activities, leading to the development of novel therapeutics targeting MC4R. The expanding MC4R market offers promising opportunities for pharmaceutical companies, and it is crucial for industry leaders to closely monitor and capitalize on this growth through strategic investments and innovations. A report from Reliable Business Insights projected that the Melanocortin Receptor 4 market is expected to see strong growth over the forecast period from 2023 to 2030, with a CAGR of 11.9%.  The report said: “The Melanocortin Receptor 4 market has been growing rapidly in recent years, driven by increasing demand for Melanocortin Receptor 4-related products and services. The growth of the Melanocortin Receptor 4 market is driven by factors such as technological advancements, increasing adoption of Melanocortin Receptor 4 in various industries, and growing awareness about the benefits of Melanocortin Receptor 4.”  Active Biotech Companies active today in markets include:  Palatin Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: PTN), Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: RYTM), Viking Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: VKTX), Structure Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: GPCR), Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE: NVO).


It continued: “The melanocortin receptor 4 (MC4R) market is expected to witness significant growth across various regions, namely North America (NA), Asia Pacific (APAC), Europe, the United States of America (USA), and China. North America, with its well-established healthcare infrastructure and increasing prevalence of obesity-related disorders, is anticipated to dominate the market. The region is projected to hold a substantial market share percent valuation due to the rising obese population and the growing awareness about weight management and related treatments. Similarly, the APAC region, with its surging disposable income, changing lifestyle patterns, and increasing prevalence of obesity, is expected to experience rapid growth in the MC4R market. Europe, USA, and China are also anticipated to witness significant market expansions due to the rising focus on the development of innovative therapeutics targeting MC4R.”


Palatin Technologies, Inc. (NYSE American: PTN) BREAKING NEWS:  Palatin Announces Positive Preclinical Data Showing Synergistic Weight Loss; Initiating Clinical Study of Melanocortin 4 Receptor Agonist + GLP-1 in Obese Patients

– Positive data with Palatin’s melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) agonist plus glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) presented at the Peptide Therapeutics Symposium

– GLP-1 & MC4R agonist co-administration data shows increased weight loss and greater glucose control above monotherapy

– Preclinical data and prior clinical studies support the further clinical development and commercial potential of Palatin’s melanocortin agonists for obesity

– Clinical study currently expected to start 1Q calendar year 2024


Palatin Technologies, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class medicines based on molecules that modulate the activity of the melanocortin receptor system, today announced plans to initiate a clinical study of melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) agonist, bremelanotide, an FDA approved product and 100% owned by Palatin, in combination with a Glucagon Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist, in obese patients in the first quarter of calendar year 2024.  In addition, Palatin announced a poster presentation of preclinical data, entitled Melanocortin receptor 4 agonist PL8905 in Combination with Glucagon Like Peptide-1 Produces Synergistic Weight Loss, Reduced Food Intake, and Greater Glucose Control in Diet-Induced Obese (DIO) Rats (Dodd et al.) at the Peptide Therapeutics Symposium, October 16-17, 2023 in La Jolla, CA.


GLP-1 agonists are currently the standard of care treatment for obesity. However, real-world use data shows that more than two-thirds (68%) of obese patients discontinue use in the first year. Side effects, especially at higher dose levels and a plateau effect, contribute to the high discontinuation rate. Palatin’s innovative approach aims to address these issues by improving treatment adherence and promoting consistent long term weight loss through combination therapy. By co-administering an MC4R agonist with a GLP-1 agonist, Palatin anticipates achieving significant weight loss at lower doses, with improved tolerability. Combination drug therapy will be a key part of improving the overall health and quality of life for obese patients.


“With the increased use of FDA-approved GLP-1 agonists for treating obesity there is an unmet need for treatments with alternative mechanisms of action that will help obese patients meet and maintain their weight loss objectives. We believe the MC4R agonist is the best validated mechanism for adjunctive therapy with GLP-1 agonists and weight loss maintenance,” said Carl Spana, Ph.D., President and CEO of Palatin. “With our extensive experience in obesity research, a portfolio of novel selective MC4R agonists, and access to bremelanotide, an FDA approved MC4R agonist, we are well positioned to advance an MC4R agonist as a potentially effective and safe treatment for obesity.”


The Peptide Therapeutics Symposium poster presented data evaluating the selective MCR4 agonist PL8905 from preclinical studies in which diet-induced obese animals were treated for 5 days with vehicle control, subcutaneous PL8905 alone and in combination with continuous infusion of a GLP-1 agonist.  CONTINUED… Read these full Press Releases for Palatin Technologies at:


In other active biotech developments in the markets this week: 


Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: RYTM), a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on transforming the lives of patients and their families living with hyperphagia and severe obesity caused by rare melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) pathway diseases, recently announced several data presentations showing that setmelanotide therapy resulted in sustained and deepened weight loss in patients with severe obesity caused by rare MC4R pathway diseases during The Obesity Society’s Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek®.  Rhythm and its collaborators delivered a total of six presentations at the conference in Dallas from October 14 to 17.


“We are excited to highlight the data showing meaningful, long-term benefits of setmelanotide in patients living with hyperphagia and severe obesity caused by rare MC4R pathway diseases at ObesityWeek,” said David Meeker, M.D., Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rhythm. “We believe the one-year BMI reduction of more than 25% in patients with hypothalamic obesity – where individuals trended towards normal body weight – is particularly encouraging as it shows continued improvement over our previously reported 16-week and six-month data. The hypothalamic obesity data affirm our confidence as we advance our pivotal, Phase 3 trial and work to bring setmelanotide to patients and families facing this challenging disease for which there are no approved, effective therapies.”


Viking Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: VKTX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders, recently announced that data from the company’s Phase 1 single ascending dose (SAD) and multiple ascending dose (MAD) clinical trial of VK2735 will be highlighted as part of an oral presentation at ObesityWeek 2023, the annual meeting of The Obesity Society. VK2735 is a novel dual agonist of the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptors in development for the potential treatment of various metabolic disorders such as obesity. ObesityWeek 2023 was held on October 14-17, 2023, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas.


The oral presentation provided an overview of previously reported results from Viking’s Phase 1 SAD/MAD study of VK2735 in healthy volunteers with a BMI ≥30.  In addition, new findings related to the impact of VK2735 on subjects’ liver fat content and plasma lipid levels were reported.


Activation of the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor has been shown to decrease glucose, reduce appetite, lower body weight, and improve insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes, obesity, or both. Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is currently marketed in various dosage strengths and forms as Ozempic®, Rybelsus®, and Wegovy®. More recently, research efforts have explored the potential co-activation of the glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) receptor as a means of enhancing the therapeutic benefits of GLP-1 receptor activation. Tirzepatide is a dual GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist that is currently in clinical development for obesity.


Structure Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: GPCR), a clinical-stage global biopharmaceutical company developing novel oral small molecule therapeutics for metabolic and cardiopulmonary diseases, recently announced positive results from the Phase 1b multiple ascending dose (MAD) study of its highly selective oral GLP-1 receptor agonist, GSBR-1290, in healthy overweight or obese individuals. In the 28-day study, GSBR-1290 demonstrated significant weight loss supporting once-daily (QD) dosing and an encouraging safety and tolerability profile.


“These positive Phase 1b results support GSBR-1290 as a promising, differentiated oral GLP-1 receptor agonist with once-daily dosing,” said Raymond Stevens, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Structure. “GSBR-1290 demonstrated an encouraging safety and tolerability profile with no adverse event-related discontinuations and we are encouraged by the weight loss observed following four weeks of treatment.


Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE: NVO) commentary:  In an YahooFINANCE article, a report from Goldman Sachs predicts that the total addressable market globally for weight loss drugs could reach $100 billion dollars in sales by 2030. The current market is estimated to be at $6 billion globally. Weight management medications like Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic (NYSE: NVO) have caught the attention of consumers and investors alike recently, as analysts have called into question the medication’s affect on regular and fast food sales in stores like Walmart (WMT).


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