Novartis Resurrects Failed Muscle Wasting Drug In New Obesity Trial
Bimagrumab failed in a pivotal late stage clinical trial last year for an orphan muscle wasting disorder. Novartis now wants to assess its potential in obesity, an area not exactly renowned for its pharmaceutical successes.
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The failed muscle-adding antibody could offer a superior profile in obesity by reducing body fat composition while increasing lean mass, the firm believes.
The US obesity market is expected to double in size over the next decade with Novo Nordisk’s Saxenda driving the growth – but real progress for the pharmaceutical sector will only come when obesity drugs offer better outcomes than non-pharma methods.
Novartis has won its third breakthrough therapy designation from the US FDA, which granted the status to the Swiss drug maker's investigational muscle-wasting disease drug bimagrumab (BYM338), a fully human monoclonal antibody.