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Gubra unveils UCN2 as novel anti-obesity drug candidate for healthy weight loss

Gubra announces the selection of a development candidate and unveils urocortin-2 (UCN2) as a novel anti-obesity drug candidate for healthy weight loss. This once weekly peptide will be developed as a healthy weight loss drug with a favourable cardiac profile. This marks the start of the preclinical toxicology programme.

Niels Vrang, Chief Scientific Officer at Gubra A/S, is excited with the progress of the UCN2 programme:
“We see great potential for UCN2 within the area of healthy weight loss. UCN2 takes obesity treatment to the next level by offering a novel muscle sparing approach. The selected urocortin-2 analogue is a potent and highly selective Corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 2 (CRHR2) agonist that has been designed for weekly dosing, and we look forward to progressing this anti-obesity asset with a favourable cardiometabolic profile towards clinical development. UCN2 is well suited as a stand-alone treatment, but also as a future combination partner with other anti-obesity drugs incl. our amylin analogue (GUBamy) currently in Phase 1 clinical trials. Overall, we believe our proprietary Obesity pipeline focused on our amylin analogue (GUBamy) and UCN2 could represent the next generation of weight loss drugs.”

Originally, the UCN2 programme was developed as a novel cardio-renal therapy, but the focus has now been shifted towards healthy weight loss thereby adding a new mechanism to the Gubra obesity pipeline. Notably, co-administration studies in diet-induced obese rats have shown that UCN2 completely prevents the lean mass loss observed in animals treated with GLP-1, or Amylin agonists while improving fat mass loss (see link below for more details of the results).

With the current anti-obesity drugs, 20-40% of the body weight lost is unwanted loss of lean mass (muscles, bones, internal organs). In contrast, healthy weight loss focuses on body composition and promotes fat loss while preserving lean muscle mass to induce a healthy and sustained weight loss.

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