‘Game changer’ weight loss drug semaglutide cuts body weight by 20 percent in obese patients

LONDON — The battle to lose weight is usually a troublesome one, however a brand new examine reveals patients scuffling with weight problems could quickly get some a lot wanted assist. Researchers from University College London say a brand new drug may also help considerably minimize body weight in obese patients. One in three members in a global trial of semaglutide misplaced round 20 percent of their further weight.
Researchers are calling the outcomes of the 68-week drug trial a “sport changer” on the subject of bettering well being and slicing illness threat in chubby people. Study authors say semaglutide works by hijacking the body’s urge for food regulating system in the mind. This reduces the sensation of starvation and, together with weight loss plan adjustments and rising exercise, lowers calorie consumption.
Nearly 2,000 individuals in 16 international locations participated in the semaglutide trial. After receiving a weekly injection of the drug, the common affected person misplaced over 33 kilos in the course of the 16-month examine.
“The findings of this examine characterize a serious breakthrough for bettering the well being of individuals with weight problems. Three quarters (75%) of people that obtained semaglutide 2.4mg misplaced greater than 10% of their body weight and greater than one-third misplaced greater than 20%. No different drug has come near producing this degree of weight loss – this actually is a sport changer. For the primary time, individuals can obtain via medication what was solely potential via weight-loss surgical procedure,” Rachel Batterham from the Centre for Obesity Research at UCL says in a college launch.
“The impression of weight problems on well being has been introduced into sharp focus by COVID-19 the place weight problems markedly will increase the danger of dying from the virus, in addition to rising the danger of many life-limiting severe ailments together with coronary heart illness, sort 2 diabetes, liver illness and sure sorts of cancers. This drug may have main implications for UK well being coverage for years to return,” the examine’s principal creator provides.
What is semaglutide?
Although the drug is new close to weight problems prevention, semaglutide is already serving to patients coping with sort 2 diabetes. For these patients, medical doctors usually prescribe a lot decrease doses (one milligram) in comparability to the weight problems examine dose.
Researchers say the drug incorporates a compound which is analogous to the human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) hormone. The intestine releases this hormone into the blood because the body takes in meals. GLP-1 stimulates weight loss by decreasing starvation and making the eater really feel full. Some members famous side-effects together with nausea and diarrhea, however researchers say they may deal with these points with out suspending semaglutide therapies.
Along with large weight loss, the group notes patients additionally noticed reductions in dangers components for coronary heart illness and diabetes. These included decrease waist circumference, blood fat, blood sugar, and blood strain. The group additionally reported enhancements in their total high quality of life.
“This is a big advance in the therapy of weight problems. Semaglutide is already accepted and used clinically at a decrease dose for therapy of diabetes, in order medical doctors we’re already accustomed to its use. For me that is notably thrilling as I used to be concerned in very early research of GLP1 (once I labored on the Hammersmith Hospital in the Nineteen Nineties we had been the primary to indicate in laboratory research that GLP1 affected urge for food), so it’s good to see this translated into an efficient therapy for individuals with weight problems,” says Professor John Wilding from the University of Liverpool.
Tremendous weight loss outcomes
The 1,961 adults in the Phase III randomized managed trial had a mean weight of 231 kilos. Their common body mass index (BMI) was round 38kg/m2, falling into the obese vary of the dimensions.
Participants obtained the two.4mg injection on a weekly foundation, much like the best way diabetes patients inject insulin. Just below 95 percent of the group accomplished the 68-week program, beginning in the autumn of 2018.
Along with injections of semaglutide, the group additionally underwent face-to-face or telephone counseling classes with dietitians each month to assist them keep a low-calorie weight loss plan and bodily lively routine.
The program resulted in patients taking semaglutide reducing their BMI by 5.54. Patients who took a placebo as a substitute of the drug solely misplaced about six kilos and lowered their BMI by 0.92.
Semaglutide is now awaiting approval as an weight problems therapy from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), the (*20*) Medicines Agency (EMA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The examine seems in the New England Journal for Medicine.


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