Kuhnen P, Wabitsch M, von Schnurbein J, Chirila C, Mallya UG, Callahan P, Gnanasakthy A, Poitou C, Krabusch PM, Stewart M, Clement K. Quality of life outcomes in two phase 3 trials of setmelanotide in patients with obesity due to LEPR or POMC deficiency. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2022 Feb 5;17(1):38. doi: 10.1186/s13023-022-02186-z

INTRODUCTION: Individuals with proopiomelanocortin (POMC) or leptin receptor (LEPR) deficiency are young and experience severe obesity, hyperphagia, and comorbidities, which can impair quality of life (QOL).

METHODS: Two pivotal Phase 3 trials explored the effect of setmelanotide on body weight and hunger in individuals with obesity due to POMC (NCT02896192) or LEPR (NCT03287960) deficiency. QOL and depression were investigated in parallel using the disease-specific, age-appropriate Impact of Weight on Quality of Life-Lite (IWQOL-Lite), Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL), and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9).

RESULTS: In total, the POMC and LEPR trials enrolled 21 patients. Adults (≥ 18 years old; n = 7) had moderate-to-severe impairment in QOL at baseline, with mean (standard deviation [SD]) IWQOL-Lite total score 60.3 (13.2; maximum IWQOL-Lite total score = 100). The effect of setmelanotide on IWQOL-Lite total score was observed as soon as Week 5. Among those with scores at Week 52, 5 of 6 adults experienced a clinically meaningful improvement, with mean (SD) total scores increased from baseline by 24.2 (12.1) points. Children (6-12 years old; n = 2) and adolescents (13-17 years old; n = 4) had impaired QOL at baseline, with mean (SD) self-reported PedsQL total scores 53.3 (6.2) and 63.3 (29.1), respectively (maximum PedsQL total score = 100). Three of 5 patients experienced clinically meaningful improvement in PedsQL, with 2 children whose PedsQL total score increased by 28.3 and 3.3 points and 3 adolescents whose mean (SD) total score increased from baseline by 5.8 (18.3) points. Baseline mean (SD) PHQ-9 score (in those ≥ 12 years old) was 5.3 (3.8) and was generally maintained through Week 52.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with POMC or LEPR deficiency had impaired, and in some cases severely impaired, QOL before setmelanotide treatment. Setmelanotide improved QOL in patients as early as Week 5, with some patients no longer experiencing impaired QOL at Week 52. Improvements in QOL may be related to a reduction in hunger and body weight associated with setmelanotide. Because of the highly complex psychological consequences of rare genetic diseases of obesity, some patients may require a long period of treatment to improve QOL and benefit from interdisciplinary care.

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