Obesity has been linked to development of a range of diseases and unfortunately, cancer. More specifically, the National Cancer Institute estimated that colorectal cancer is 1.3 times more likely in obese individuals. Therefore, this is a highly lucrative segment for pharmaceutical companies. Yet, the big pharma giant, Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) abandoned its obesity drug that failed during the phase 2 trial due to exhibited side-effects. But a clinical-stage company, Altimmune Inc (NASDAQ: ALT), announced positive top-line results from the 48-week phase II MOMENTUM study of its obesity drug candidate. Roche Holding AG (OTC: RHHBY) also entered this lucrative market as it announced its acquisition of obesity drug maker for $2.7 billion. A molecular genetics diagnostic company specializing in the early detection of cancer, Mainz Biomed N.V. (NASDAQ: MYNZ) reported groundbreaking results from U.S. eAArly detect study that evaluated the use of novel mRNA biomarkers in the next version of its test for colorectal cancer, which is a major breakthrough in CRC diagnostics.
Pfizer faced a setback, but it is still in the race for finding a cure for obesity.
On Friday, Pfizer dropped its twice-daily obesity oral pill as most patients dropped out of its midstage trial due to side effects that include nausea and vomiting. But Pfizer is still developing its once-daily version of the weight-loss pill, but early data on this formulation won’t be available until the first half of 2024. Although the setback is not the outcome Pfizer hoped for, the pharma giant is not giving up on its $10-billion-a-year product, as stated by Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.
Altimmune advances with its obesity drug candidate.
While Pfizer faced a setback, a small company with a market value of less than $200 million reported on Thursday that its experimental obesity drug helped reduce weight by as much as 15.6% over a midstage trial that lasted 48 weeks and included 391 patients. Upon its good news, Altimmune shares rose more than 45% at $4.61.
Roche Entered The Weight Loss Market
By acquiring the unlisted Carmot Therapeutics for $2.7 billion, Roche gained access to its drugs portfolio that includes gut-hormone candidates in the form of pills and injections that are designed to treat obese patients with as well as without diabetes. Pursuing obesity drugs is one of the few new therapeutic fields that Roche is trying out in an effort to offset falling oncology sales. It is also its attempt to restore its development pipeline that got hit by major trial setbacks, namely in Alzheimer’s and cancer immunotherapy. In October, Roche even agreed to pay $7.1 billion to Roivant and Pfizer to gain rights for a new inflammatory bowel disease drug.
With Groundbreaking Results, Mainz Biomed Made A Breakthrough In CRC Diagnostic
Mainz Biomed just reported U.S. eAArly DETECT study results that exceed those from the company’s European ColoFuture Clinical study of the same design that was reported in October. The two studies evaluated the inclusion of a portfolio of novel mRNA biomarkers in its colorectal cancer test, ColoAlert. More precisely, the study found 97% sensitivity for colorectal cancer with specificity of 97%, along with advanced adenoma sensitivity of 82%. The latter is a precancerous polyp that often precedes this deadly disease.
Besides being outstanding results, these figures present an advance in CRC treatment as well as healthcare management. The ability to detect lesions in a pre-cancerous stage can not only change the CRC diagnostic landscape, but identifying them early means being able to cure them before they progress to a cancerous condition. Mainz Biomed also announced its pivotal FDA pre-market trial that its clinical trial (ReconAAsense) is on track to begin enrolment in mid 2024. A successful trial would position Mainz Biomed’s ColoAlert® as the most accurate at-home CRC diagnostic screening test.
Even Pfizer joined a long list of obesity drug flops, showing just how difficult it is to develop an effective yet safe and tolerable cure for this condition that according to Forbes, affects more than 1 billion across the globe. Then there is cancer, which is a directly life-threatening condition that science still hasn’t found a way how to treat after decades of unsuccessful efforts. But the above developments show that progress is being made, at the very least, to detect it early which greatly increases the treatment’s success rate.
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This article While Pfizer Faced A Setback, Altimmune, Roche And Mainz Biomed Advanced in The Battle Against Obesity And Colorectal Cancer originally appeared on Benzinga.com
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