The ties between excessive weight and diabetes have been well publicized. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) counts some 34 million people living with diabetes in the United States alone, but there is a total of 122 million Americans when you add up those at risk of developing diabetes.
A new study suggests that a breakthrough in serious weight loss for diabetics may be closer to fruition. And with a prior approval already underway, many patients will already be looking forward to this drug’s FDA approval.
Scientists from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom conducted a study Semaglutide 2.4 mg once per week in adults with diabetes who were overweight or obese. The study showed that an impressive two-thirds of the patients with Type 2 diabetes could lose at least 5% of their body weight. The study results were published at The Lancet and they also showed improvements in blood sugar management.
Semaglutide is considered a breakthrough drug and the double-blind and double-dummy Phase 3 study enrolled adults with high body mass indexes and who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for at least 180 days prior to screening. While this was a U.K. study, the patients were shown to have been recruited from 149 outpatient clinics in 12 countries from Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, South Africa, and Asia.
Of the 1,595 patients screened, more patients taking semaglutide had lost at least 5% of their body weight over a 68-week period. Gastrointestinal adverse events were more common in the control arm of the group, but these were considered to be mild to moderate. The screening took place from June 4 to November 14 of 2018 and was funded by diabetes drug-maker Novo Nordisk.
Drug studies are not indicative of drugs being made immediately available to the public, but new drug applications were already filed in the fourth quarters of 2020 for semaglutide 2.4 mg as a treatment against obesity in the United States and in the European Union.
In early 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, the United States FDA approved Ozempic (semaglutide) as a treatment for cardiovascular risk reduction in adults with Type-2 diabetes and known heart disease.