A large phase 3 clinical trial of a new anti-obesity drug has shown particularly promising results. Tirzepatide helped overweight and obese participants lose up to 22.5% of their total body weight.
A “dual action” molecule.
Last year, theUS Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved the use of semaglutide to treat overweight and obesity. Originally formulated to treat type 1 diabetes, this compound mimics the action of a natural hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which is produced by intestinal cells and plays a range of metabolic functions, from regulating blood sugar levels to suppressing appetite.
The mode of action of tirzepatid proves to be significantly different. Mimicking a hormone called gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) the new molecule acts simultaneously on the receptors GLP-1 and GIPresulting in greater reductions in food intake and higher energy expenditure.
Led by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lillithe phase 3 study RECOVERY-1 2,539 subjects from 9 countries with an average body weight of 105 kg were involved. These were divided into four groups (tirzepatide 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg and placebo) and received a weekly subcutaneous injection of compound or saline.
At the end of the 72-week programme, those taking the lowest dose of tirzepatide had seen an average 16% reduction in body weight, compared with 22.5% (or 24 kg) in those taking the highest dose. In comparison, the reduction seen in subjects in the placebo group was only 2.4%.
If this study assessed the effect of the drug as an adjunct to a low-calorie diet and exercise program, the significant differences in weight loss between members of the placebo group (who also followed such a routine) and those who received tirzepatide injections underscore its effectiveness.
” Tirzepide is the first investigational drug to demonstrate greater than 20% weight loss in a phase 3 study, increasing our confidence in its potential to help people living with obesity “, called Eli Lilli in a press release.