Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) is a multifunctional protein associated with energy homeostasis and body weight regulation. GDF15 has emerged as an attractive therapeutic target to treat obesity-related metabolic disorders. GDF15 reduces food intake with a unique mode of action via its receptor GDNF family receptor α-like (GFRAL) and the co-receptor RET. YH34160 is an engineered GDF15 variant-Fc fusion protein to have extended half-life and potent functional activity by enhancing binding affinity to GDF15 receptors (GFRAL/RET) . Based on rodent and monkey pharmacokinetic (PK) data, YH34160 is expected to have an optimal PK profile for once-weekly dosing in humans. In efficacy studies using obese mouse models, YH34160 demonstrated a potent and sustained weight-lowering effect. After a single subcutaneous injection in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice, YH34160-treated groups showed sustained and dose-dependent body weight (BW) reduction compared to long-acting glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA) . Following a 6-week multiple-dose study in DIO mice, YH34160-treated groups exhibited a greater and more prolonged BW loss compared to the group of GLP-1RA. Marked BW reduction and improved lipid profile by YH34160 were also proved in leptin-deficient (ob/ob) mice compared to GLP-1RA. In addition, YH34160 caused significantly better anti-obesity effects, and a much more improved metabolic profile than that of albumin-GDF15, and dual GLP-1/Glucagon receptor agonist. Interestingly, YH34160 in combination with GLP-1RA or dual GLP-1/glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide receptor agonist (GIPRA) achieved more potent and greater BW loss compared to each mono-treated group. Overall, these findings indicate that YH34160 would be a promising therapeutic candidate, as well as in combination with GLP-1-based therapeutics, for the treatment of obesity and obesity-related comorbidities.
S. Lim: None. D. Kim: None. J. Yang: None. M. Ju: None. S. Kim: None. B. Sim: None. J. Kim: None. S. Oh: Employee; Yuhan, Stock/Shareholder; Yuhan.