- A compound in diabetes drug may result in weight loss.
- But this effect is seen only in people with obesity and not diabetes.
- This compound is semaglutide, a compound for glycemic control.
Glycemic control drug for weight loss
Semaglutide may help people with obesity. The compound, semaglutide, has a chemical structure that is very similar to the hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which regulates both insulin secretion and appetite. In December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the semaglutide injection Ozempic as a once-weekly adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type-2 diabetes.
"This randomized study of weight loss induced with semaglutide in people with obesity but without diabetes has shown the highest weight reductions yet seen for any pharmaceutical intervention," said lead author Patrick M. O'Neil, Ph.D., Director of the Weight Management Center and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C.
Obesity and not diabetes
The new study included 957 participants, 35 percent of whom were male. All participants had a body mass index (BMI) of at least 30, but did not have diabetes. They were randomly assigned to seven different groups. Five groups received different doses of semaglutide (between 0.05 mg and 0.4 mg) via injection once daily; a sixth group received a placebo, and a seventh group received 3 mg of the diabetes drug liraglutide. All participants received monthly diet and exercise counseling.
Sixty five percent of participants who received 0.4 mg of semaglutide per day lost at least 10 percent of their body weight, compared with 10 percent of those in the placebo group and 34 percent of the liraglutide group.
The most common adverse events in those taking semaglutide were mild/moderate nausea, as seen previously with GLP-1 receptor agonists.
O'Neil noted that further studies of semaglutide for obesity are underway.
- ENDO 2018: The Endocrine Society's 100th Annual Meeting & Expo - ( https://www.endocrine.org/)