Drug name: Cotadutide
Mechanism: GLP-1/glucagon receptor dual agonist
Stage: Phase 2
Next step: Potential clinical trials in NASH
AstraZeneca didn't develop its GLP-1/glucagon agonist, cotadutide, specifically for NASH—it's testing the drug in several clinical trials spanning a range of indications, including heart failure, Type 2 diabetes and kidney failure. But crunching data from one of those trials found that cotadutide reduced liver fat in patients with diabetes who were also overweight or obese. A new analysis, presented at this year’s American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases meeting, looked at how the drug may affect the liver.
The investigators analyzed 26-week data from a phase 2b study in which 834 patients received one of three dose levels of cotadutide, Novo Nordisk’s Victoza, or placebo. “Significant reductions in bodyweight were observed at all doses of cotadutide vs. placebo," researchers said in the study abstract. The highest dose of cotadutide, 300 μg, beat Victoza at helping weight loss too, they found.
All dose levels of cotadutide lowered patients’ liver enzymes and led to “significant reductions” in measures of liver scarring and fatty liver. The data could convince AstraZeneca to move the drug into NASH-specific clinical trials.