Could Altimmune’s weight-loss drug be a game-changer?

key point

  • A Phase 2 clinical trial of Altimmune’s weight loss treatment pemvidutide showed that patients who received a 2.4 mg injection lost an average of 15.6 pounds during a 48-week study, with 30% of patients losing at least 20 pounds.
  • Altimmune is seeking global partners to collaborate on Phase 3 trials and handle the commercialization and launch of the drug upon FDA approval.
  • Pemvidutide also had a profound effect on reducing liver fat and lowering LDL cholesterol levels, but had no change in A1c blood glucose readings.
  • 5 stocks we like better than Altimmune

Diet pills have been a huge success, e.g. Novo Nordisk NYSE: NVO ozone and Eli Lilly and Company NYSE: LLY Monjaro started a gold rush for new weight-loss drugs in the medical field. One of the major complaints about glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) drugs is nausea and vomiting associated with their use.

This may be severe enough to cause patients to abandon treatment. This is a key reason why Pfizer had to discontinue its twice-daily weight loss treatment Danuglipron.

Rather than conducting years of research and clinical trials, large pharmaceutical companies look to smaller biotech companies that have shown success in clinical trials for potential partnerships or acquisitions. altiimmune NASDAQ: ALT A potential acquisition target based on its success in pemvidutide clinical trials. In addition, they are actively seeking global partners to help them complete trials and initiate commercialization upon FDA approval.

About Altimmune

Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Altimmune is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing treatments for liver disease and obesity. Its GLP-1 drug candidate is pemvidutide, which has been shown to be effective in reducing weight and liver fat, lowering LDL cholesterol and blood pressure. In its Phase 2 clinical trial, 2.4 mg injections resulted in an average weight loss of 15.6% after 48 weeks. More than 30% of patients lost more than 20% of their body weight. The drug is designed to treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a chronic liver disease that can lead to fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver failure. It is characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver.

Pevitide

Altimmune’s drug shows similar weight loss effects to semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic and Wegovy. The company released positive top-line results from the MOMENTUM Phase 2 clinical trial. Its discontinuation rate was lower than placebo. Additionally, pemvidutide showed a significant reduction in liver fat and was better tolerated without an increase in heart rate. The study showed that 74% of patients completed the trial, with better outcomes than 61.9% of patients who took a placebo. These added benefits make it a potential giant killer. However, unlike Ozempic and Mounjaro, they do very little to control blood sugar levels, as evidenced by no change in A1c readings.

Technically, Ozempic and Mounjaro are both type 2 diabetes treatments, and they also happen to work for weight loss. Rampant off-label use is why Wegovy and Zepbound were created for the specific purpose of controlling obesity. Pemvidutide was created to target NASH, not as a diabetes treatment, and the FDA has granted it Fast Track status.

Whales looking for partnerships and acquisitions?

Big businesses are looking to weight loss treatments. Roche Holdings OTC: RHHBY Paid $2.7 billion to acquire Carmot Therapeutics, with milestone payments of up to $400 million required. Carmot’s leading weight loss treatment, called CT-388, is a once-weekly injection that mimics the GLP-1 and GIP hormones, similar to Mounjaro. Carmot was acquired after completing a very promising Phase 1 trial. The drug is ready for human use in Phase 2 and could potentially be available in 2030 if it can complete Phase 3 and gain FDA approval.

AstraZeneca NYSE: AZN Announced a deal to pay up to $2 billion to license Chinese biotech company Eccogene’s experimental weight-loss drug. Altimmune also has a chronic hepatitis B drug, HepTcell, in Phase 2 clinical trials.

Altimmune Analyst Ratings and Price Targets at MarketBeat. Altimmune peer and competitor stocks can be found via MarketBeat Stock Screener.

Altimmune Stock Chart

Potential bull flag or reversal

The daily candlestick chart on ALT has the potential to form a bull flag pattern after forming a shooting star. The steep stock rally has set up a flagpole. As stocks take their breath, the bull flag must be formed from lower highs and lower lows. The daily market structure low (MSL) triggered above $3.73.

The daily relative strength index (RSI) has surged into the overbought 70 range and appears to have peaked as it slides towards the 80 range. Daily 200-period moving average support is $4.18. Retracement support is at $5.53, $4.29, the $3.74 MSL trigger, and $2.91, just above the cash price floor per share.

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