14 Jan Type 2 Diabetes: Effect of Monoclonal Antibody Bimagrumab on Body Fat Mass
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Steven Heymsfield, MD
Professor, Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Baton Rouge, LA
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Bimagurmab is a monoclonal antibody that blocks the activin type 2 receptor. This receptor is found mainly on skeletal muscles and when blocked acts to stimulate muscle growth. Bimagrumab was developed as a potential treatment for skeletal muscle disorders. However, the first-in-man studies revealed an unexpected response to the drug: not only did skeletal muscle mass increase, but marked lowering in body fat and improved insulin sensitivity were observed. The current study was launched to follow up on these initial observations.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Participants who were overweight/obese with type II diabetes who were treated with active drug had marked loss of body fat, reductions in waist circumference, and improved glycemic control relative to those treated with placebo. Importantly, active treatment was accompanied by gain in lean (muscle) mass compared to placebo treated participants who lost lean mass, a well-known undesirable effect of dieting.
|Reduced by 16.5 pounds
|Increased by 0.4 pounds
|Increased 3.7 pounds
|Lost 0.9 pounds
|Reduced by 0.8 percent
|Reduced by 0.04 percent
|Reduced by 3.5 inches
|Reduced by 0.2 inches
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: This is an entirely new mechanism for treating excess adiposity in people with insulin resistance and diabetes. The study also reveals previously unexpected pathways that moderate body weight and insulin sensitivity, opening up new avenues for research.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: These very exciting findings beg the question of what mechanisms were at play? Some hypotheses have been advanced (e.g., activation of brown fat) but these need critical testing. Discovery of these mechanisms may open up new research areas related to weight control and diabetes management.
No relevant disclosures. Up to now we have not seen loss of body fat of equivalent magnitude with an increase in lean mass in human pharmacologic studies. I have worked in this area for many years and most drug treatments have much smaller effects.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Any disclosures?
Response: No relevant disclosures. Up to now we have not seen loss of body fat of equivalent magnitude with an increase in lean mass in human pharmacologic studies. I have worked in this area for many years and most drug treatments have much smaller effects.
Heymsfield SB, Coleman LA, Miller R, et al. Effect of Bimagrumab vs Placebo on Body Fat Mass Among Adults With Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity: A Phase 2 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(1):e2033457. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.33457
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Last Updated on January 14, 2021 by Marie Benz MD FAAD