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Altimmune Higher After Phase 1 Progress With Obesity Drug

Altimmune jumped after it reported progress from its Phase 1 trial of ALT-801, a drug for obesity and liver disease.
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Altimmune  (ALT)  shares blasted higher Wednesday after the biotech reported progress from its Phase 1 trial of ALT-801, a drug for obesity and liver disease.

The study was conducted with healthy overweight and obese subjects in Australia.

“The interim data showed a mean weight loss of 5.4% was achieved by Week 6 with a once weekly ALT-801 dose of 1.8 mg administered [under the skin] compared to a weight gain of 0.9% in the placebo group,” the Gaithersburg, Md., company said in a statement.

That surpassed the treatment target of 2% weight loss.

Altimmune recently traded at $17.31, up 23%. The shares have climbed 36% in the past six months.

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“These data are encouraging considering that only a 2% weight loss was targeted at six weeks of treatment and that nausea rates were low, without emesis [vomiting], which is particularly notable in the absence of dose titration,” said Stephen Harrison, medical director at Pinnacle Research.

In other drug news Wednesday, MannKind  (MNKD)  shares rose after the FDA granted priority review for a lung-disease medicine being developed by its partner, United Therapeutics  (UTHR) .

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration accepted for priority review the new drug application for Tyvaso DPI (inhaled treprostinil)," which treats pulmonary arterial hypertension and pulmonary hypertension associated with interstitial lung disease, United said.

United “expects the agency's review to be complete in October 2021.”

Meanwhile, shares of Kindred Biosciences  (KIN)  soared Wednesday, after the company said it’s being acquired by Elanco Animal Health  (ELAN)  for about $440 million. Elanco will acquire Kindred for $9.25 a share.