Article Authors: Frederico G S Toledo, William F Martin, Linda Morrow, Carine Beysen, Daiva Bajorunas, Ying Jiang, Bernard L Silverman, David McDonnell, Mark N Namchuk, John W Newcomer, Christine Graham
A combination of olanzapine and samidorphan (OLZ/SAM) received US Food and Drug Administration approval in May 2021 for the treatment of adults with schizophrenia or bipolar I disorder. OLZ/SAM provides the efficacy of olanzapine, while mitigating olanzapine-associated weight gain. This exploratory study characterized the metabolic profile of OLZ/SAM in healthy volunteers to gain mechanistic insights. Volunteers received once-daily oral 10 mg/10 mg OLZ/SAM, 10 mg olanzapine, or placebo for 21 days. Assessments included insulin sensitivity during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, other measures of glucose/lipid metabolism, and adverse event (AE) monitoring. Treatment effects were estimated with analysis of covariance. In total, 60 subjects were randomized (double-blind; placebo, n = 12; olanzapine, n = 24; OLZ/SAM, n = 24). Olanzapine resulted in hyperinsulinemia and reduced insulin sensitivity during an OGTT at day 19, changes not observed with OLZ/SAM or placebo. Insulin sensitivity, measured by hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, was decreased in all treatment groups relative to baseline, but this effect was greatest with olanzapine and OLZ/SAM. Although postprandial (OGTT) glucose and fasting cholesterol concentrations were similarly increased with olanzapine or OLZ/SAM, other early metabolic effects were distinct, including post-OGTT C-peptide concentrations and aspects of energy metabolism. Forty-nine subjects (81.7%) experienced at least 1 AE, most mild or moderate in severity. OLZ/SAM appeared to mitigate some of olanzapine’s unfavorable postprandial metabolic effects (e.g., hyperinsulinemia, elevated C-peptide) in this exploratory study. These findings supplement the body of evidence from completed or ongoing OLZ/SAM clinical trials supporting its role in the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder.