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Setmelanotide is a melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) agonist (EC50 = 0.27 nM for human MC4R) that is used as a peptide drug and investigational anti-obesity medication.

Peptide Inhibitors
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CAS number
Molecular Formula
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Size Price Stock Quantity
100 mg $838 In stock
RM-493; BIM-22493; IRC-022493
1.54±0.1 g/cm3(Predicted)
Store at -20°C
Soluble in DMSO
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1. The efficacy and safety of setmelanotide in individuals with Bardet-Biedl syndrome or Alström syndrome: Phase 3 trial design
Murray W Stewart,Joan C Han,Gregory Gordon,Guojun Yuan,Jack A Yanovski,Robert M Haws Contemp Clin Trials Commun . 2021 May 3;22:100780. doi: 10.1016/j.conctc.2021.100780.
Background:A phase 2 trial has suggested that treatment with the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) agonist setmelanotide is associated with a decrease in hunger and weight-related outcomes in participants with Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) and Alström syndrome. Here, we present the study design of an ongoing, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial to assess the long-term efficacy and safety of setmelanotide for the treatment of obesity and hyperphagia in individuals with BBS or Alström syndrome ( identifier:NCT03746522).Methods:It was initially planned that ~30 participants aged ≥6 years with a clinical diagnosis of BBS or Alström syndrome would be enrolled. Participants with obesity as defined by a body mass index ≥30 kg/m2(in those aged ≥16 years) or a weight >97th percentile (in those aged 6-15 years) are included. Participants are initially randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive setmelanotide or placebo for 14 weeks (period 1). Following period 1, all participants receive 38 weeks of open-label treatment with setmelanotide (period 2). In each treatment period, setmelanotide is administered at 3 mg once a day following completion of dose escalation. The primary endpoint is the proportion of participants aged ≥12 years achieving a clinically meaningful reduction from baseline (≥10%) in body weight after ~52 weeks (eg, following period 2). Safety and tolerability are assessed by frequency of adverse events.Conclusions:This pivotal trial is designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of setmelanotide for the treatment of obesity and hyperphagia in individuals with BBS and Alström syndrome.Submission category:Study Design, Statistical Design, Study Protocols.
2. Evaluation of a melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) agonist (Setmelanotide) in MC4R deficiency
Florence Marchelli,Shubh Sharma,I Sadaf Farooqi,Edson Mendes de Oliveira,Andrew Gottesdiener,Tinh-Hai Collet,Rohia Alili,Rebecca Bounds,Bart Henderson,Julia M Keogh,Roger D Cone,Jean-Michel Oppert,Dominique Pépin,Lex H T Van der Ploeg,Patrick Tounian,Stephen O'Rahilly,Christine Poitou-Bernert,Elizabeth Stoner,Elana Henning,Jean-Marc Lacorte,Cathy Folster,Jacek Mokrosinski,Keith Gottesdiener,Hillori Connors,Brandon L Panaro,Béatrice Dubern,Karine Clément,Johanne Le Beyec Mol Metab . 2017 Oct;6(10):1321-1329. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2017.06.015.
Objective:Pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)-derived peptides act on neurons expressing the Melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) to reduce body weight. Setmelanotide is a highly potent MC4R agonist that leads to weight loss in diet-induced obese animals and in obese individuals with complete POMC deficiency. While POMC deficiency is very rare, 1-5% of severely obese individuals harbor heterozygous mutations in MC4R. We sought to assess the efficacy of Setmelanotide in human MC4R deficiency.Methods:We studied the effects of Setmelanotide on mutant MC4Rs in cells and the weight loss response to Setmelanotide administration in rodent studies and a human clinical trial. We annotated the functional status of 369 published MC4R variants.Results:In cells, we showed that Setmelanotide is significantly more potent at MC4R than the endogenous ligand alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone and can disproportionally rescue signaling by a subset of severely impaired MC4R mutants. Wild-type rodents appear more sensitive to Setmelanotide when compared to MC4R heterozygous deficient mice, while MC4R knockout mice fail to respond. In a 28-day Phase 1b clinical trial, Setmelanotide led to weight loss in obese MC4R variant carriers. Patients with POMC defects upstream of MC4R show significantly more weight loss with Setmelanotide than MC4R deficient patients or obese controls.Conclusions:Setmelanotide led to weight loss in obese people with MC4R deficiency; however, further studies are justified to establish whether Setmelanotide can elicit clinically meaningful weight loss in a subset of the MC4R deficient obese population.
3. Structures of active melanocortin-4 receptor-Gs-protein complexes with NDP-α-MSH and setmelanotide
Christian M T Spahn,David Speck,Michal Szczepek,Heike Biebermann,Peter Kühnen,Jörg Bürger,Patrick Scheerer,Sarah Paisdzior,Brian K Kobilka,Peter W Hildebrand,Daniel Hilger,Tarek Hilal,Andrea Schmidt,Monique Gallandi,Brian Bauer,Thorsten Mielke,Anja Koch,Magdalena Schacherl,Dennis Kwiatkowski,Annette G Beck-Sickinger,Nicolas A Heyder,Gunnar Kleinau Cell Res . 2021 Nov;31(11):1176-1189. doi: 10.1038/s41422-021-00569-8.
The melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R), a hypothalamic master regulator of energy homeostasis and appetite, is a class A G-protein-coupled receptor and a prime target for the pharmacological treatment of obesity. Here, we present cryo-electron microscopy structures of MC4R-Gs-protein complexes with two drugs recently approved by the FDA, the peptide agonists NDP-α-MSH and setmelanotide, with 2.9 Å and 2.6 Å resolution. Together with signaling data from structure-derived MC4R mutants, the complex structures reveal the agonist-induced origin of transmembrane helix (TM) 6-regulated receptor activation. The ligand-binding modes of NDP-α-MSH, a high-affinity linear variant of the endogenous agonist α-MSH, and setmelanotide, a cyclic anti-obesity drug with biased signaling toward Gq/11, underline the key role of TM3 in ligand-specific interactions and of calcium ion as a ligand-adaptable cofactor. The agonist-specific TM3 interplay subsequently impacts receptor-Gs-protein interfaces at intracellular loop 2, which also regulates the G-protein coupling profile of this promiscuous receptor. Finally, our structures reveal mechanistic details of MC4R activation/inhibition, and provide important insights into the regulation of the receptor signaling profile which will facilitate the development of tailored anti-obesity drugs.
4. Efficacy and safety of setmelanotide, an MC4R agonist, in individuals with severe obesity due to LEPR or POMC deficiency: single-arm, open-label, multicentre, phase 3 trials
Ulrike Blume-Peytavi,Gregory Gordon,Dirk Schnabel,Ozair Abawi,Jesús Argente,Kathleen De Waele,I Sadaf Farooqi,Guojun Yuan,James M Swain,Goujun Yuan,Gabriel Á Martos-Moreno,Ismaa Sadaf Farooqi,Christa E Flück,Egbert Voss,Murray W Stewart,Peter Kühnen,Natasa Bratina,Christine Poitou,James Swain,Martin Wabitsch,Christian Denzer,Patricia Pigeon-Kherchiche,Katja Kohlsdorf,Wendy K Chung,Lia Puder,Erica van den Akker,Gregory A Gordon,Julia von Schnurbein,Esther Schulz,Anna Flaus-Furmaniuk,Katja Weiss,Julie Gonneau-Lejeune,Susanna Wiegand,Paul Gougis,Allison L Bahm,Philipp Krabusch,Erica L T van den Akker,Hillori Connors,Béatrice Dubern,Setmelanotide POMC and LEPR Phase 3 Trial Investigators,Karine Clément,Hillori S Connors,Knut Mai,Allison Bahm,Alban Danset,Murray Stewart,Martin Bald Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol . 2020 Dec;8(12):960-970. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(20)30364-8.
Background:The melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R), a component of the leptin-melanocortin pathway, plays a part in bodyweight regulation. Severe early-onset obesity can be caused by biallelic variants in genes that affect the MC4R pathway. We report the results from trials of the MC4R agonist setmelanotide in individuals with severe obesity due to either pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) deficiency obesity or leptin receptor (LEPR) deficiency obesity.Methods:These single-arm, open-label, multicentre, phase 3 trials were done in ten hospitals across Canada, the USA, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. Participants aged 6 years or older with POMC or LEPR deficiency obesity received open-label setmelanotide for 12 weeks. Participants with at least 5 kg weight loss (or ≥5% if weighing <100 kg at baseline) entered an 8-week placebo-controlled withdrawal sequence (including 4 weeks each of blinded setmelanotide and placebo treatment) followed by 32 additional weeks of open-label treatment. The primary endpoint, which was assessed in participants who received at least one dose of study medication and had a baseline assessment (full analysis set), was the proportion of participants with at least 10% weight loss compared with baseline at approximately 1 year. A key secondary endpoint was mean percentage change in the most hunger score of the 11-point Likert-type scale at approximately 1 year on the therapeutic dose, which was assessed in a subset of participants aged 12 years or older in the full analysis set who demonstrated at least 5 kg weight loss (or ≥5% in paediatric participants if baseline bodyweight was <100 kg) over the 12-week open-label treatment phase and subsequently proceeded into the placebo-controlled withdrawal sequence, regardless of later disposition. These studies are registered with,NCT02896192andNCT03287960.Findings:Between Feb 14, 2017, and Sept 7, 2018, ten participants were enrolled in the POMC trial and 11 participants were enrolled in the LEPR trial, and included in the full analysis and safety sets. Eight (80%) participants in the POMC trial and five (45%) participants in the LEPR trial achieved at least 10% weight loss at approximately 1 year. The mean percentage change in the most hunger score was -27·1% (n=7; 90% CI -40·6 to -15·0; p=0·0005) in the POMC trial and -43·7% (n=7; -54·8 to -29·1; p<0·0001) in the LEPR trial. The most common adverse events were injection site reaction and hyperpigmentation, which were reported in all ten participants in the POMC trial; nausea was reported in five participants and vomiting in three participants. In the LEPR trial, the most commonly reported treatment-related adverse events were injection site reaction in all 11 participants, skin disorders in five participants, and nausea in four participants. No serious treatment-related adverse events occurred in both trials.Interpretation:Our results support setmelanotide for the treatment of obesity and hyperphagia caused by POMC or LEPR deficiency.Funding:Rhythm Pharmaceuticals.
5. Setmelanotide: First Approval
Anthony Markham Drugs . 2021 Feb;81(3):397-403. doi: 10.1007/s40265-021-01470-9.
Setmelanotide (IMCIVREE™, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals) is a melanocortin-4 (MC4) receptor agonist developed for the treatment of obesity arising from proopiomelanocortin (POMC), proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 1 (PCSK1), or leptin receptor (LEPR) deficiency. The drug has received its first approval in the USA for chronic weight management in patients 6 years and older with obesity caused by POMC, PCSK1 and LEPR deficiency and has been granted PRIority MEdicines (PRIME) designation by the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of obesity and the control of hunger associated with deficiency disorders of the MC4 receptor pathway. Setmelanotide is also being developed in other rare genetic disorders associated with obesity including Bardet-Biedl Syndrome, Alström Syndrome, POMC and other MC4R pathway heterozygous deficiency obesities, and POMC epigenetic disorders. This article summarizes the milestones in the development of setmelanotide leading to this first approval for obesity caused by POMC, PCSK1 and LEPR deficiency.
6. Next Generation Antiobesity Medications: Setmelanotide, Semaglutide, Tirzepatide and Bimagrumab: What do They Mean for Clinical Practice?
Donna H Ryan J Obes Metab Syndr . 2021 Sep 30;30(3):196-208. doi: 10.7570/jomes21033.
There is a new generation of antiobesity drugs in development or just arriving on the scene. First, setmelanotide has been approved for three of the ultrarare genetic conditions that cause obesity-pro-opiomelanocortin deficiency, proprotein convertase subtilisin and kexin type 1 (an important enzyme in the melanocortin pathway) and leptin receptor deficiency. Setmelanotide marks the first in a personalized medicine approach to obesity. Second, semaglutide 2.4 mg once weekly has been submitted to regulators in the United States and the European Union for approval for patients with obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥30 kg/m2) or overweight (BMI ≥27 kg/m2) and at least one weight related comorbidity. This drug has been studied in five phase 3 clinical trials, four discussed herein: semaglutide produces roughly twice as much weight loss as we have seen in older antiobesity medications. Semaglutide is already in use for treatment of diabetes and, as a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor analog, is part of a class of drugs used widely in diabetes. Tirzepatide, a glucose-insulin peptide and GLP-1 dual agonist is in phase 3 study for obesity management, and bimagrumab is a new agent in phase 2 with a unique mechanism of action; they are generating much interest. The purpose of this narrative review is lay the groundwork for a discussion of the clinical impact of these new medications on the clinical practice of obesity. Further, these developments shall be used to launch a speculation of what is likely to be their impact on the future of obesity pharmacotherapy.
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