Safety of TCMCB07, a melanocortin-4 antagonist peptide, in dogs with naturally occurring cachexia

Sandra M. Axiak-Bechtel, Stacey B. Leach, Jessica R. Newton-Northup, Rowan J. Milner, Stacey A. Fox-Alvarez, Lana I. Fagman, Kaylee A. Young, Deborah J. Tate, Zachary M. Wright, John D. Chretin, Justin W. Allen, Sean K. Yoshimoto, Kimberly A. Selting, Brian K. Flesner, Carrie R. White, Tracy Mills, Michael Aherne, Philip J. Bergman, Le Ann Qi, Kenneth A. GruberMichael F. Callahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The melanocortin 4 antagonist TCMCB07 is safe and effective in reversing cachexia caused by sepsis or cancer in rodents. The safety and pharmacokinetics of TCMCB07 are demonstrated in healthy beagle dogs. Hypothesis/Objectives: The objectives of this study were to investigate the safety, peak plasma concentrations, and potential for efficacy of TCMCB07 in pet dogs with naturally occurring cachexia over a 4-week time period. Animals: Fourteen dogs with cachexia of any underlying cause, except cancer of the oral cavity or gastrointestinal tract, were eligible for enrollment with informed client consent. Methods: This study was a prospective, 1-armed open-label trial. Physical examination, complete blood count, chemistry panel, and owner-assessed quality of life surveys were checked at weeks 1, 2, and 4. Due to potential for bradycardia and hypotension, Holter monitoring and blood pressure evaluations were scheduled at pre-enrollment and week 4. Results: Fourteen dogs completed the trial. Significant changes detected included increased mean body weight (18.6-19.5 kg, P <.02), increased body condition score (median Tufts 5-point thin dog scale score P <.004 and WSAVA muscle condition score P <.02) and increased mean blood urea nitrogen (21.79-30.43 mg dL−1, P <.004). On quality of life surveys, pet owners perceived their dog appeared to be panting less (P <.002) and that the general health improved (P <.03). Four dogs had a change in coat pigmentation. The peak plasma concentration of TCMCB07 in cachectic dogs was similar to that in healthy beagle dogs. Conclusions and Clinical Importance: TCMCB07 was safe and has potential efficacy in pet dogs with cachexia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2344-2355
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of veterinary internal medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • anorexia
  • canine
  • emaciation
  • metabolism
  • therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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