Setmelanotide for pro-opiomelanocortin deficiency obesity

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Interventions: Setmelanotide (RM-493)
Year: 2017

Body fat and food intake are regulated by signals from the brain to the gut. One of the important hormones that is responsible for this is pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC). In a very small group of people there is a lack of this hormone (due to a genetic mutation), referred to as POMC deficiency. This causes severe overeating which leads to obesity and high blood sugar in children. Very few adults have been observed with this condition, which may be due to high death rates in adolescence. Pale skin that does not tan and red hair are common signs of POMC deficiency obesity.
Currently there are no licensed treatment options for POMC deficiency obesity, however weight loss medicines orlistat and methylcellulose are the only treatment options offered. Setmelanotide is being developed to treat pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) deficiency obesity. If marketed setmelanotide could be the first effective treatment option aimed specifically at this patient group as it replaces one of the key hormones that is lacking in POMC deficiency patients (melanocytestimulating hormone). It has been shown to reduce hunger and has resulted in substantial weight loss in previous patients.