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Zafgen (ZFGN) Presents Favorable New Data on Beloranib

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Zafgen Inc. ZFGN presented new results from the phase IIb study (ZAF-203) on its lead pipeline candidate, beloranib (a MetAP2 inhibitor), for the treatment of severe obesity complicated by type II diabetes at the American Diabetes Association.

Results from the study showed that beloranib led to an improvement in body composition, including a significant decrease in body weight, fat mass, reduction in waist and hip circumference, and improvements in liver fat, as well as glycemic control parameters including HbA1c, fasting plasma glucose, post-prandial glucose, beta-cell function, and insulin sensitivity, when compared to placebo.

Apart from the above mentioned indication, beloranib is also being developed for the treatment of several additional indications, including severe obesity in two rare diseases – Prader-Willi syndrome and obesity caused by hypothalamic injury, including craniopharyngioma-associated obesity and severe obesity in the general population.

We note that the FDA had placed a full clinical hold on the investigational new drug for beloranib in Dec 2015 due to an imbalance in the number of thrombotic events, including two deaths due to pulmonary embolism.

Zafgen is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Bio Blast Pharma Ltd. ORPN, Juniper Pharmaceuticals, Inc. JNP and Acerus Pharmaceuticals Corporation TRLPF. While Bio Blast and Juniper Pharma sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Acerus Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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