Effect of Bimagrumab vs Placebo on Body Fat Mass Among Adults With Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity: A Phase 2 Randomized Clinical Trial

Effect of Bimagrumab vs Placebo on Body Fat Mass Among Adults With Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity: A Phase 2 Randomized Clinical Trial / Steven B. Heymsfield, Laura A. Coleman, Ram Miller, Daniel S. Rooks, Didier Laurent, Olivier Petricoul, Jens Praestgaard, Therese Swan, Thomas Wade, Robert G. Perry, Bret H. Goodpaster, Ronenn Roubenoff. - (JAMA Netword Open 4 (2021) 1 (13 January); p. 1-13)

  • PMID: 33439265
  • PMCID: PMC7807292
  • DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.33457


Importance: Antibody blockade of activin type II receptor (ActRII) signaling stimulates skeletal muscle growth. Previous clinical studies suggest that ActRII inhibition with the monoclonal antibody bimagrumab also promotes excess adipose tissue loss and improves insulin resistance.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of bimagrumab on body composition and glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes and overweight and obesity.

Design, setting, and participants: This double-masked, placebo-controlled, 48-week, phase 2 randomized clinical trial was conducted among adults with type 2 diabetes, body mass index between 28 and 40, and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels between 6.5% and 10.0% at 9 US and UK sites. The trial was conducted from February 2017 to May 2019. Only participants who completed a full treatment regimen were included in analysis.

Interventions: Patients were randomized to intravenous infusion of bimagrumab (10 mg/kg up to 1200 mg in 5% dextrose solution) or placebo (5% dextrose solution) treatment every 4 weeks for 48 weeks; both groups received diet and exercise counseling.

Main outcomes and measures: The primary end point was least square mean change from baseline to week 48 in total body fat mass (FM); secondary and exploratory end points were lean mass (LM), waist circumference (WC), HbA1c level, and body weight (BW) changes from baseline to week 48.

Results: A total of 75 patients were randomized to bimagrumab (n = 37; 23 [62.2%] women) or placebo (n = 38; 12 [31.6%] women); 58 (77.3%) completed the 48-week study. Patients at baseline had a mean (SD) age of 60.4 (7.7) years; mean (SD) BMI of 32.9 (3.4); mean (SD) BW of 93.6 (14.9) kg; mean (SD) FM of 35.4 (7.5) kg; and mean (SD) HbA1c level of 7.8% (1.0%). Changes at week 48 for bimagrumab vs placebo were as follows: FM, -20.5% (-7.5 kg [80% CI, -8.3 to -6.6 kg]) vs -0.5% (-0.18 kg [80% CI, -0.99 to 0.63 kg]) (P < .001); LM, 3.6% (1.70 kg [80% CI, 1.1 to 2.3 kg]) vs -0.8% (-0.4 kg [80% CI, -1.0 to 0.1 kg]) (P < .001); WC, -9.0 cm (80% CI, -10.3 to -7.7 cm) vs 0.5 cm (80% CI, -0.8 to 1.7 cm) (P < .001); HbA1c level, -0.76 percentage points (80% CI, -1.05 to -0.48 percentage points) vs -0.04 percentage points (80% CI, -0.23 to 0.31 percentage points) (P = .005); and BW, -6.5% (-5.9 kg [80% CI, -7.1 to -4.7 kg]) vs -0.8% (-0.8 kg [80% CI, -1.9 to 0.3 kg]) (P < .001). Bimagrumab's safety and tolerability profile was consistent with prior studies.

Conclusions and relevance: In this phase 2 randomized clinical trial, ActRII blockade with bimagrumab led to significant loss of FM, gain in LM, and metabolic improvements during 48 weeks in patients with overweight or obesity who had type 2 diabetes. ActRII pathway inhibition may provide a novel approach for the pharmacologic management of excess adiposity and accompanying metabolic disturbances.

Original document


Research / Study
13 January 2021
Coleman, Laura A.
Goodpaster, Bret H.
Heymsfield, Steven B.
Laurent, Didier
Miller, Ram
Perry, Robert G.
Petricoul, Olivier
Praestgaard, Jens
Rooks, Daniel S.
Roubenoff, Ronenn
Swan, Therese
Wade, Thomas
United States of America
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Louisiana State University System
Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR)
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S4. Hormone And Metabolic Modulators
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Date generated
2 March 2021
Date of last modification
3 March 2021
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