Clinical Eli Lilly's Mounjaro Shows Promising Results in Weight Loss...

Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro Shows Promising Results in Weight Loss for Diabetes Patients


Eli Lilly’s injectable blood sugar drug, tirzepatide, which is currently being sold under the name Mounjaro, has been observed to help diabetic patients lose weight. The drug was initially approved to help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar. However, in a recent trial of over 930 patients that spanned a year and 5 months, patients who were administered the highest dose of the drug were seen to lose up to 34 pounds (15kg) on average.

Although results from the trial have not been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal yet, there has been no other phase 3 trial in this type two diabetes population to have even hit 15%. This degree of mean weight loss reduction has never been achieved before, explained the associate vice president at Eli Lilly, Dr. Nadia Ahmad.

Compared with 30.5% of placebo patients, over 86% of those patients who actually received the 15 mg dose of the injectable saw at least a 5% loss in weight. On the other hand, participants who were given a lower dose of 10 mg achieved an average weight loss of over 13%, or about 30 pounds (14kg).

Mounjaro is able to contribute to weight loss by mimicking the action of two different gut hormones. By stimulating the body to produce more insulin after a meal, the drug is able to lower the blood sugar level. Not only this, but the drug is also able to slow down the movement of food from the stomach, making people feel fuller for longer.

Results from a trial conducted by Lilly last year, testing the drug in patients who were obese or overweight but did not have diabetes, found that it led to a weight loss of 22.5%, or about 52 pounds (24kg), and these results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Eli Lilly now plans to show both these combined results to the Food and Drug Administration to fast-track approval for tirzepatide purely for weight loss. The firm is expecting regulatory action as early in the second half of 2023.

Late last year, as people shared success stories of how drugs like tirzepatide contributed to weight loss, it, alongside other drugs like Wegovy by Novo Nordisk, went into shortage, leading to problems for people actually suffering from diabetes.

“I am aware of and I’ve heard, you know, it being sort of used off-label for weight loss and individuals who do not have diabetes,” said Dr. Kimberly Gudzune, medical director of the American Board of Obesity Medicine.

Wegovy has been approved as a weight-loss medication for overweight adults for some time now. However, it has had at least one associated health risk since 2021. Similarly, in clinical trials, people who took tirzepatide experienced more diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting compared to patients who took a placebo.

In order to compare the efficacy of both these drugs, Eli Lilly plans to pit the drugs against one another in a trial of 700 participants across over 60 locations in the United States and Canada. The study is expected to conclude in early 2025 and will work to see if results from these drugs can be upheld in the real world.

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