Retatrutide, a new injectable drug candidate from Eli Lilly, is delivering impressive weight loss in clinical trials.
Doctors are comparing results so far to bariatric surgery, calling it the “triple G.”
“Their mind is freed from the burden of trying to control every morsel of food,” said one doctor.
Clinical trial results for a new injectable hormone pen stunned researchers: It appears stronger than Ozempic or Mounjaro and nearly on par with bariatric surgery.
The results of two separate interim clinical trials of the drug, called retatrutide, which is under development by drugmaker Eli Lilly, were published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and The Lancet.
Doctors discussing the findings at the American Diabetes Association conference in San Diego were stunned by the rapid weight loss hundreds of people with obesity and diabetes have achieved with this experimental drug, as well as the dramatic improvements in blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure. levels.
“We’ve never seen results like this before,” said Dr. Ania Jastreboff, director of the Yale Obesity Research Center and author of the NEJM paper.
Other doctors at the conference agreed that retatrutide could be a breakthrough drug for both weight loss and type 2 diabetes management. Conference attendees from around the world cheered and gasped when the results were announced. .
“This raises the bar,” University College Dublin’s Dr Carel Le Roux, an obesity researcher who was not affiliated with the studies, said at a news conference. “This is way beyond my wildest dreams.”
Retatrutide: the “triple G” drug that clears the mind
Retatrutide is similar to Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro in that it is a once-a-week injection of hormones that change the way we eat, leading to early feelings of fullness and decreased appetite.
But unlike Ozempic and Wegovy, which mimic only one hunger-regulating hormone (GLP-1), or Mounjaro, which mimics two hormones (GLP-1 and GIP), retatrutide is a single molecule that mimics Three several hunger regulator hormones: GLP-1, GIP and glucagon. That “triple G” action, as some scientists termed it at the meeting, appears to have more potent effects on a person’s appetite and food satisfaction.
“What our patients express is freedom,” Jastreboff said. “Their mind is freed from the burden of trying to control every morsel of food they put into their mouths for the rest of their lives.”
In the study published in the NEJM, obese patients given the highest weekly dose of retatrutide (12 mg) lost an average of 58 pounds over 11 months. Their weight was still decreasing even after the trials ended, suggesting that longer and larger trials yet to be completed could provide even more impressive weight-loss results. Each patient on the highest dose of retatrutide lost at least 5% of their body weight, and a quarter of these participants lost 30% or more of their weight.
In a similar study of retatrutide for patients with type 2 diabetes published in The Lancet, patients lost approximately 17% of their body weight in nine months, which is a remarkable achievement, as it is typically harder for patients to with T2D lose the same amount of weight as other people with overweight and obesity.
Side effects of retatrutide were similar to Ozempic and Mounjaro, including nausea, diarrhea, constipation and vomiting.
“This is truly astounding,” said lead author of the Lancet study, Dr. Julio Rosenstock of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “No drug has hit 17% and you haven’t seen anything yet.”
Much like Jastreboff’s trial, Rosenstock’s trial ended while the patients were still losing weight. Given more time, Rosenstock said he expects many of those patients with diabetes to achieve 20 percent weight loss on this drug. Importantly, about a third of type 2 diabetes patients treated with the drug also returned to normal blood sugar levels during treatment.
But it will likely be several years before this drug is commercially available. Before the drug can undergo evaluation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and become available to the public, larger and longer Phase 3 clinical trials will need to be successfully completed, a process that will likely take at least of 2025.
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