Lobe Sciences teams with Pentec Health to distribute Altemia in US

Altemia is first medical food in US specifically for people with SCD

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by Steve Bryson, PhD |

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Lobe Sciences has partnered with Pentec Health to distribute Altemia, an emulsified formulation of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 fat, for sickle cell disease (SCD) patients in the U.S. and its territories.

As part of the agreement, Pentec, which provides clinical nutrition and specialty care services in the U.S., will receive the exclusive rights to distribute the medical food, which is expected to be available to adults and children with SCD by the second half of this year.

“We are pleased to be working with Pentec Health to provide Altemia to this underserved, but significant unmet patient need in children and adults suffering from SCD,” Philip Young, Lobe’s CEO, said in a company press release. “Pentec Health is extremely well-positioned and experienced in the medical food marketplace and they will ensure it reaches key healthcare providers and patients.”

“Leveraging its previous success managing distribution and payer interactions in the medical food market, working with Pentec Health will ensure a smooth launch of Altemia,” Young said.

SCD is a group of inherited disorders marked by defects in hemoglobin — the protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. Abnormal hemoglobin causes oval-shaped red blood cells to take on a sickle-like shape. These misshapen red blood cells die much quicker than healthy cells and can block blood flow to different parts of the body, leading to complications.

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DHA, an essential omega-3 fatty acid, is missing from the membranes of red blood cells of SCD patients due to a metabolic error. This deficiency causes red blood cells to become inflamed and be destroyed when their membrane breaks.

Altemia provides a concentrated source of DHA to correct this error and reduce inflammation.

Preclinical and clinical studies suggest beneficial outcomes with DHA, including improvements in inflammation markers, fewer hospital visits, and a reduction in painful vaso-occlusive crises caused by blood flow blockages.

In the Phase 2 SCOT trial (NCT02973360), Altemia showed promise in treating 67 SCD children, ages 5-17, compared with a placebo. Eight weeks of treatment improved red blood cells’ fatty acid composition, raised hemoglobin levels, and reduced vaso-occlusive crises.

Altemia is the first medical food in the U.S. designed specifically for people with SCD and this agreement is the first step in its global launch. It is exclusively manufactured by a regulated partner in the U.S.

“In our mission to solve complex care challenges, the partnership with Lobe, to both distribute and provide patient support services for Altemia, strengthens our clinical nutrition platform and bolsters our medical food offering,” said Matthew Deans, Pentec’s president and CEO. “This collaboration to distribute Altemia will support Lobe in their efforts to get this important treatment to patients and caregivers.”

“With our collective efforts alongside the physician and SCD community, we anticipate making a profound impact on the lives of sickle cell disease families across the United States,” Deans said.