23 February 2024 4:45 PM
A trial has shown the diabetes drug, tirzepatide, sold under the brand Mounjaro  led to participants, who were obese or overweight losing an average of over 34 pounds (15kg)

A new miracle weight loss jab could come to the US and the UK, and it may even be even better than the hotly anticipated Wegovy. 

Results of the latest trial for tirzepatide found it helped obese and overweight people with type 2 diabetes shed about over 34 pounds (15kg) on average over 72 weeks, equivalent to about 16 per cent of their body weight. 

The drug’s makers, Eli Lilly and Co, have said they will seek approval for the drug to be made an option for obese and overweight people with health problems in the US, with a submission to UK regulators to follow.

Results of the tirzepatide trial suggest that it could beat out is competitor Wegovy, made by Denmark-based Novo Nordisk, which only recorded a weight loss of 12 per cent for those that took it. 

Both jabs work in a similar way, using an artificial hormone to trick the body into thinking it’s already full, reducing appetite and therefore food intake and appetite.

A trial has shown the diabetes drug, tirzepatide, sold under the brand Mounjaro  led to participants, who were obese or overweight losing an average of over 34 pounds (15kg)

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While not yet approved for weight loss specifically some Americans are already using it ‘off label’.  One of these is Matthew Barlow, a 48-year-old health technology executive living in California, who said he has lost more than 100 pounds since November by using Mounjaro and changing his diet

But tirzepatide differs by adding a second hormone which could help improve how the body breaks down sugar and fat. 

Lilly’s latest results came after the company reported that a trial of the drug in people who were obese or overweight but did not have diabetes last year found it led to weight loss of 22.5 per cent, or about 52 pounds (24kg).

The weight reduction seen in the latest trial, which involved 938 people, ‘has not been previously achieved in phase 3 trials for obesity or overweight and type 2 diabetes,’ Jeff Emmick, Lilly senior vice president, product development, said.

Lilly said over 86 per cent of people taking the 15 mg dose of the injected drug achieved at least 5 per cent weight loss, compared with 30.5 per cent of placebo patients over the 72-week study period. 

Trial participants given a lower 10 mg dose of Mounjaro, also known as tirzepatide, achieved average weight loss of over 13 per cent, or about 30 pounds (14kg), and nearly 82 per cent lost at least 5 per cent of their body weight.

Similar to other weight-loss jabs patients are given an initial dose of 2.5mg once a week with this then being increased every four weeks until the target dosage is reached. 

The trial also saw participants diet to achieve a 500kcal per day energy deficit and perform  150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

Lilly has said it expects a decision by US regulators by late 2023 and told MailOnline a submission to UK counterparts would be made this year. 

Dr Kunal Gulati, executive director diabetes medical affairs, Lilly Northern Europe, added: ‘Preventing obesity is a key focus but it’s also vitally important that we continue to develop future treatments for obesity. 

‘Lilly is committed to developing innovative solutions to help people living with obesity, and will continue to work with regulators, the health service and other agencies, so that people in the UK can benefit from treatments as they become available.’

The latest trial also published data on the reported side effects of tirzepatide.

These included about one in five participants suffering from nausea and diarrhoea, and about one in 10 reporting vomiting or diarrhoea.

Lilly said the side-effects were most commonly reported during the dose escalation period.

Only about 4 per cent and 7.5 per cent of participants, in the 10mg and 15mg cohorts respectively, quit the study due to side effects.

A head-to-head trial comparing tirzepatide and semaglutide, the key ingredient in Wegovy is planned in the future. 

Trials for semaglutide have reported users losing about 15 per cent of their body weight over 16 months. 

Mounjaro was first approved to treat diabetes last year.

But patients in the US are already able to get the job for weight-loss ‘off-label’ from some doctors.

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The above graphic shows how weight-loss drug tirzepatide works. It works to suppress hunger by mimicking hormones indicating that the body is full. It also shows the passage of food through the stomach by reducing the production of stomach acid and contractions of the muscle

One of these is Matthew Barlow, a 48-year-old health technology executive living in California, who said he has lost more than 100 pounds since November by using Mounjaro and changing his diet.

‘Psychologically, you don’t want to eat. Now I can eat two bites of a dessert and be satisfied,’ he said.

Rather than relying solely on diet, exercise and willpower to reduce weight, tirzepatide and other new drugs target the digestive and chemical pathways that underlie obesity, suppressing appetite and blunting cravings for food.

‘They have entirely changed the landscape,# said Dr. Amy Rothberg, a University of Michigan endocrinologist who directs a virtual weight loss and diabetes program.

Research has shown that with diet and exercise alone, about a third of people will lose 5 per cent or more of their body weight, said Dr. Louis Aronne, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at Weill Cornell Medicine. 

The obesity medications help overcome a biological mechanism that kicks in when people diet, triggering a coordinated effort by the body to prevent weight loss.

‘That is a real physical phenomenon,’ Dr Aronne said. ‘There are a number of hormones that respond to reduced calorie intake.’

Jefferies analyst Akash Tewari estimated in a March research note that the trial could show placebo-adjusted weight loss of around 15 per cent for the higher dose of Mounjaro.

Lilly’s medication, part of a new class known as incretins, is already approved for treating diabetes. 

The new drugs, which include Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Wegovy, are designed to activate hormones that regulate blood sugar, slow stomach emptying and decrease appetite.

Wegovy made headlines earlier this year by being the first jab of its kind to be given the greenlight by the UK’s health watchdog.

But it is expensive, estimated to cost about above £1,000 (about $1,500) per month.

Similar estimates have put the cost of tirzepatide at about £900 per month (about $1,000). 

There have also been some reports from America of patients who have used the weightloss jab having their hair start to fall out in clumps.

Health chiefs have hoped more weight loss jabs coming online could drive the price down putting them in greater reach of more people. 

NHS figures show that 64 per cent of British adults are overweight, with more predicted to grow fatter in the future. 

Obesity doesn’t just expand British waistlines but health care costs, with the NHS spending an estimated £6.1 billion on treating weight-related disease like diabetes, heart disease and some cancers between 2014 to 2015. 

In the US about 42 per cent of people are obese.  

Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-12020271/Lillys-Mounjaro-leads-16-weight-loss-obese-diabetics-trial.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490&rand=1270

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