Injection of an experimental antibody drug improved metabolism and decreased weight in obese humans, according to a study. Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a hormone that regulates metabolism, energy expenditure, and food consumption. Although modified FGF21 variants improve metabolic health and promote weight loss in humans, the frequent dosing required for these proteins to be effective limits their therapeutic potential. Puneet Arora and colleagues report that the long-acting antibody BFKB8488A mimics the effects of FGF21. The authors tested BFKB8488A in humans in a phase 1a, randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial with 60 overweight or obese participants. A single subcutaneous injection resulted in metabolic improvements that lasted up to 60 days. Moreover, BFKB8488A reduced body weight when the participants received calorically balanced standardized meals during a confinement period. Body weight decreased by 1.20 kg in the treatment group, compared with 0.28 kg in the placebo group. However, body weight rebounded within 3 days after confinement. In addition, calorie consumption decreased starting 1 week after treatment and reached a maximum decrease of 50% between days 15 and 22. Specifically, the treatment reduced carbohydrate intake and increased aversion to sweet foods. Although further clinical trials are needed, the findings suggest that the experimental drug may represent a potentially safe and effective therapy for obesity and related metabolic conditions.
"Antibody-mediated activation of the FGFR1/Klothoβ complex corrects metabolic dysfunction and alters food preference in obese humans," by Amos Baruch et al.
South San Francisco, CA