Co-administration of mouse bimagrumab with incretin therapies demonstrated synergistic benefit with additive reduction of fat mass coupled with rescue of lean mass loss induced by incretins

NEW YORK, Nov 2, 2022 – Versanis Bio (“Versanis”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company advancing novel therapeutics for cardiometabolic diseases, today shares new preclinical data reaffirming the potential of lead asset bimagrumab as a novel obesity treatment at ObesityWeek 2022, hosted November 1-4 in San Diego. The new preclinical results highlight the therapeutic potential of bimagrumab as a monotherapy and also when co-administered with incretin therapies in people living with obesity.

Experiments in a diet-induced obesity model in mice showed that the mouse version of bimagrumab elicited fat mass loss and lean mass gain. In contrast, while incretins such as semaglutide and tirzepatide drove fat mass loss, they also caused substantial loss of muscle mass when used alone. Coadministration of murine bimagrumab with semaglutide or tirzepatide led to additive reduction of fat mass and gain of lean mass, predominantly muscle. Significant loss of muscle, as occurs in aging-related sarcopenia, can cause adverse health outcomes, including weakness, decreased mobility, and unfavorable metabolic changes.

“Unlike incretins, bimagrumab’s differentiated mechanism of action works directly on adipose and muscle tissues to cause loss of fat mass and an increase in muscle mass, which together can substantially improve the body composition of people with obesity,” said Lloyd Klickstein, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Versanis. “These data reported today at ObesityWeek contribute to the growing body of preclinical and clinical data that support our upcoming Phase 2b study of bimagrumab in patients living with obesity.”

Versanis is planning soon to initiate the BELIEVE Phase 2b study in people with obesity. The study will target enrollment of 450 participants and will assess the safety and efficacy of bimagrumab both as a monotherapy and in combination with semaglutide.

ObesityWeek presentation details are as follows:

Bimagrumab + Semaglutide caused >30% Fat Loss and 5% Lean Mass Increase in Obese Mice After 2 Weeks

  • Presenter: Lloyd Klickstein, M.D., Ph.D, Chief Scientific Officer, Versanis
  • Date/time: Nov. 2 at 3:30-3:45pm PT
  • Track: Track 1 – Metabolism and Integrative Physiology
  • Following the presentation, slides will be made available on the company’s website at

About Bimagrumab

Bimagrumab is a first-in-class, fully human IgG1/λ monoclonal antibody to activin type II receptors that blocks binding of ligands including myostatin, activins and GDF11. Bimagrumab decreases body fat, especially abdominal visceral fat, while at the same time increasing muscle mass. Since initial development, bimagrumab has been administered to more than 1,000 patients across more than 20 clinical studies. It is now being advanced as a novel treatment for patients living with obesity, with additional indications to follow.


BELIEVE is a Phase 2b study in non-diabetic patients with obesity investigating the safety and efficacy of bimagrumab alone and in combination with semaglutide. Eligible patients with a body mass index ≥30, or ≥27 with one or more obesity-related comorbidities, will receive 48 weeks of treatment to measure improvement in waist circumference, body weight and body composition assessments.

About Versanis

Versanis is a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company bringing transformational treatments to people living with cardiometabolic disease. The company’s lead asset, bimagrumab, is being advanced in a Phase 2b study as a novel treatment for obesity to help adults achieve and maintain both substantial fat loss and a healthy body composition, with additional indications to follow. Versanis was founded in 2021 and is a portfolio company of Aditum Bio, Atlas Venture and Medicxi. For more information, please visit

Media contact:
Darby Pearson