Two Companies Partner to Pursue New Therapeutic for Acromegaly

by Suzanne Potter

abribatThe French pharmaceutical company Amolyt Pharma and the Japanese company PeptiDream recently announced they will team up to develop therapeutic peptides for the treatment of acromegaly.

 Amolyt, based in Lyon and in Boston, has experience in this field. Currently they have a program in development for hypoparathyroidism that has recently received orphan drug status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Amolyt is also working on a second peptide for glucose and fat metabolism, which is in the preclinical stage.

PeptiDream, based in Kanagawa, is a large company with teams of peptide chemists that is partnering Amolyt to move their discovery forward.

Amolyt CEO Thierry Abribat, PhD, says, “When you want to make a replacement therapy you want to mimic the hormone that is missing, so you have to use proteins or peptides.”

He adds that since patients with acromegaly have an excess of growth hormone, “It’s all about the interaction between growth hormone and its receptors. When there are too many receptors, you have cardiovascular complications and other problems. So we are developing an antagonist to the growth hormone receptor, which is a peptide that mimics the growth hormone and prevents real growth hormone from binding to the receptors. It’s what we call a competitive antagonist.”

Patients with acromegaly usually have surgery to remove the pituitary tumor, yet it often fails to resolve the problem of excess growth hormone secretion. So, many patients take somatostatin. Nonetheless more than 60 percent of patients still need an added therapy. The small peptide that Amolyt and PeptiDream are working on is designed to be an add-on to somatostatin, which will control insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), the marker of the disease.

Amolyt is proud to be consulting with eminent endocrinologist Dr. AJ van der Lely at the Erasmus University MC in Rotterdam, the former president of the European Society of Endocrinology and a longtime member of the Pituitary Network Association.

The project is still in the late optimization stage. They hope to start clinical trials in late 2022 and make it to Phase two trials in 2023. Read more: