Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, two major players in the pharmaceutical industry, are intensifying their competition in the lucrative obesity sector. Eli Lilly has recently initiated the enrollment of SURMOUNT-5, a Phase IIIb clinical trial. The study pits Lilly’s Mounjaro against Novo’s Wegovy in obese or overweight people with weight-related health problems.
The parallel research will include 700 individuals from 61 sites in the United States, Canada, South America, and numerous European nations. According to Lilly, it began in April and is expected to be completed in January 2025.
The primary objective of the research will evaluate the weight reduction percentage from the baseline between the two medicines at the end of the trial period. Observers believe Lilly aims for SURMOUNT-5 to demonstrate that Mounjaro outperforms Wegovy while causing fewer adverse effects. Secondary measures will determine the proportion of patients who lose a specified amount of weight.
Obesity affects 650 million individuals globally, including roughly half of all Americans. According to the American Diabetes Association, it is a continuing disease with limited treatment options that raises the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Wegovy (semaglutide) stimulates GLP-1, whereas Mounjaro (tirzepatide) stimulates GLP-1 and GIP. Michael Glickman, an obesity specialist believes that Lilly’s medication may have a greater impact since it targets two receptors. Glickman believes that if the company targets more receptors, there is a high chance of better results. Glickman considers the medication as the best option available. Though the SURMOUNT-5 experiment will provide data, he claims that some patients prefer Mounjaro.
Jessica Thompson, a Lilly spokesperson, expects the findings to support the two-target approach. GIP and GLP-1 play important roles in the body leading to an incretin effect. In healthy individuals, GIP accounts for about two-thirds of the incretin effect, having a greater impact on insulin production than GLP-1. GIP is also in charge of controlling body weight via hunger and food intake.
What’s most important, according to Glickman, is determining how these drugs alter the body’s metabolic set point. Unlike metabolism, the metabolic set rate is constant. Short-term diets generally fail because they do not change the set point.
According to Glickman, the human body consists of intricate pathways, and advancements can be observed in terms of insulin resistance and enhancements in glucose metabolism.
GLP-1 weight reduction medicines have been approved for some time, despite their sudden incorporation in the American zeitgeist. Wegovy was approved in 2021, and Ozempic in 2017. Mounjaro has also been cleared for a full year.
According to Glickman, patients frequently notice their close ones lose weight which may hint at them taking GLP-1 medicine, prompting them to seek therapy for themselves.
Sales forecasts are astonishing due to the enormous unmet need for weight loss. According to market analysts, Mounjaro might achieve peak sales of $25 billion in autumn 2022, particularly in the treatment of diabetes and obesity. More conservative experts, on the other hand, estimate the sales to be below $10 billion.