As a growing number of overweight Americans turn to Ozempic and Vegovi—drugs that celebrities claim make them lose weight—an even more powerful drug is about to change the treatment landscape.
Tiragepatide, a drug from Eli Lilly & Co. approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes under the brand name Monjaro, helped overweight or obese people lose more than 15 kg (34 lb) in 17 months, the company said on Thursday.
The late-stage study of the weight-loss drug builds on earlier evidence that non-diabetic participants lost up to 22% of their weight over that period with weekly injections of the drug. For a typical patient receiving the maximum dose, this means a weight loss of more than 50 pounds (25 kg).
Dr. Nadia Ahmed, Lilly’s medical director for clinical obesity treatment, said diabetes makes weight loss extremely difficult. This means that the recent results are particularly important. “We didn’t see this degree of weight loss,” he said.
Based on the new results, which have not yet been fully released, company officials said they will apply to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for expedited approval to sell tirzepatide for the management of chronic overweight. do. The verdict will be known in the coming months. A company spokeswoman declined to confirm whether it would be marketed in the United States as a weight-loss drug under another brand name.
If approved for weight loss, tirazepetide could be the most effective drug to date in a suite of drugs that could transform the treatment of obesity, which affects more than four in 10 American adults and causes dozens of disabling or fatal conditions. associated with diseases.
Dr. Carolyn Apovian, director of the Center for Weight Management and the Wellness of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said, “If every obese person in this country lost 20% of their body weight, we could reduce their risk of reflux, diabetes, high blood pressure, Will stop prescribing for.” , “We will not be prescribing stent changes for these patients.”
Industry analysts estimate that tirezapatide could become one of the best-selling drugs in history, raking in over $50 billion annually. It is expected to surpass Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic — an anti-diabetic drug so widely used for weight loss that comedian Jimmy Kimmel made a joke about it at an Oscars presentation — and Vegovy, a version that will be released in 2021. Also known as US approved semaglutide. At around $10 billion in 2022, more are being set, according to the company’s report.