AZP-531, an unacylated ghrelin analog, improves food-related behavior in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome

Soraya Allas, Assumpta Caixàs, Christine Poitou, Muriel Coupaye, Denise Thuilleaux, Françoise Lorenzini, Gwenaëlle Diene, Antonino Crinò, Frédéric Illouz, Graziano Grugni, Diane Potvin, Sarah Bocchini, Thomas Delale, Thierry Abribat, Maithé Tauber

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Context and objective Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is characterized by early-onset hyperphagia and increased circulating levels of the orexigenic Acylated Ghrelin (AG) hormone with a relative deficit of Unacylated Ghrelin (UAG). AZP-531, a first-in-class UAG analog, was shown to inhibit the orexigenic effect of AG in animals, to improve glycemic control and decrease body weight in humans. We aimed to investigate the safety and efficacy of AZP-531 in patients with PWS for whom no approved treatment for hyperphagia is currently available. Methods and design Multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Forty-seven patients with genetically confirmed PWS and evidence of hyperphagia received daily subcutaneous injections of AZP-531 (3 and 4 mg for 50–70 kg and >70 kg body weight, respectively) or matching placebo for 14 days. Assessments included adverse events, vital signs, safety laboratory tests, the Hyperphagia Questionnaire (HQ), patient-reported appetite, body composition and glycemic measures. Results AZP-531 was well tolerated. There was a significant improvement with AZP-531 versus placebo in the mean total score, the 9-item score and the severity domain score of the HQ (p <.05). The highest reduction in the total and 9-item scores was observed in AZP-531 subjects with the highest hyperphagia score at baseline. Findings were supported by a reduction in appetite scores observed with AZP-531 only. Body weight did not change in both groups while a significant reduction in waist circumference and fat mass was observed only with AZP-531. AZP-531 significantly decreased post-prandial glucose levels in a baseline glucose dependent fashion. Conclusions AZP-531 may constitute a new treatment strategy to improve hyperphagia and metabolic issues in patients with PWS. These findings support further investigation in longer-term clinical trials.
Original languageItalian
JournalPLoS One
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

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Allas, S., Caixàs, A., Poitou, C., Coupaye, M., Thuilleaux, D., Lorenzini, F., Diene, G., Crinò, A., Illouz, F., Grugni, G., Potvin, D., Bocchini, S., Delale, T., Abribat, T., & Tauber, M. (2018). AZP-531, an unacylated ghrelin analog, improves food-related behavior in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome. PLoS One, 13(1).