An experimental drug, under clinical investigation for its effects on obese or overweight people, has provided record-breaking weight loss results for study participants – along with surgical options, as assured by the Head Pharmacist.
Tirzepatide, developed by the American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly), is a weekly injection that promotes weight loss by mimicking the effects of natural hormones called incretins. These hormones can lower blood sugar after a meal, as well as regulate metabolic processes related to digestion.
The new drug is not yet available on the market, as it awaits further clinical studies, but it results from a synthetic combination of two specific incretins, called GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) and GIP ( gastric inhibitory peptide).
GLP-1 is the basis of the anti-diabetic drug “semaglutide”, which was approved in the United States for weight loss in 2021, the first time the FDA has given approval for a new weight loss treatment. This approval was granted based on results described as “game-changing” for weight loss, but it looks like the tirzepatide formula could be a game changer again.
In the Phase 3 clinical trial results, researchers recruited 2,539 participants who were overweight or obese (with weight-related comorbidity but no type 2 diabetes). Participants received either tirzepatide or a placebo for 72 weeks, along with support to follow a low-calorie diet and increase their level of physical activity. The drug was given in three different doses – 5, 10 or 15 milligrams in the weekly injection – but all three groups had significant levels of weight loss during the study.
At the highest dose (15 mg), participants experienced an average weight reduction of 22.5% in body weight (24 kg), while the 10 mg dose resulted in a weight loss of 21.4 % (22kg); at 5 mg there was a reduction in body weight of 16% (16 kg).
In comparison, the placebo group lost only 2.4% of their body weight (2 kg). Weight loss trials with semaglutide have shown an average weight loss of approximately 17%.
“Tirzepatide is the first investigational drug to show more than 20% weight loss on average in a Phase 3 study,” said clinical research physician Jeff Emmick, vice president of product development at the drugmaker. , which is expected to announce the results of the study in 2023. .