Sadaf Farooqi’s team has been working with Rhythm Pharmaceuticals and many clinical collaborators worldwide to test whether the Melanocortin 4 Receptor (MC4R) agonist Setmelanotide is a safe and effective weight loss treatment for people with genetic obesity syndromes. They have just published the results of a Phase 3 clinical trial in patients with severe obesity due to either pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) deficiency or leptin receptor (LEPR) deficiency.
The research showed that after approximately 1 year, eight (80%) participants in the POMC trial and five (45%) participants in the LEPR trial achieved at least 10% weight loss, associated with a reduction in hunger scores. This degree of weight loss led to significant clinical benefits for patients who find it very hard to lose weight through other means.
The Farooqi team is currently running a Phase 2 Basket trial to see whether the same drug may be effective in people with other genetic obesity syndromes that result from impaired signalling through the melanocortin pathway.