Palatin Technologies and AstraZeneca have initiated the phase I clinical trial of AZD2820, a subcutaneously-administered peptide melanocortin receptor partial agonist, under development as a single-agent therapy for the treatment of obesity.
Obesity is a global problem, with the World Health Organization estimating that over 1.5 billion adults are overweight and over 500 million are obese. Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980.
Scientific research has established that melanocortin receptors have a role in eating behavior and energy homeostasis, and that some melanocortin receptor agonists decrease food intake and induce weight loss in animal studies.
The single center study is expected to enroll 90 subjects in a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled, phase I trial in healthy male volunteers.
"We are very pleased that AstraZeneca has initiated a phase I clinical trial with a collaboration compound, demonstrating AstraZeneca's ongoing commitment and diligence in exploring melanocortin compounds for the treatment of obesity," said Dr. Carl Spana, ppresident and chief executive officer of Palatin.
Pursuant to the terms of the research collaboration and license agreement with AstraZeneca, Palatin is eligible for milestone payments upon achieving development and regulatory milestones and further payments on achievement of sales targets, in addition to royalties on sales of approved products. AstraZeneca has responsibility for product commercialization, product discovery and development costs.