Previous research in diabetes led by Leicester researchers has played a key role in laying foundations for new breakthrough in weight-loss treatment.
A research paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reported on the results of a trial using semaglutide. This medicine was initially used in diabetes trials led by Professor Melanie Davies, Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), in 2017. This earlier research discovered that semaglutide was able to lower blood sugar and promotes weight loss in participants in just three months.
The new study found semaglutide to be almost twice as effective in helping people lose weight as other weight loss drugs currently available. Participants saw reductions in risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, such as waist circumference, blood fats, blood sugar and blood pressure.
Melanie Davies, Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester and Director of the NIHR Leicester BRC, said: “These results, which demonstrate semaglutide’s ability to have a significant impact on lowering blood glucose and supporting weight loss when taken orally, are hugely promising.”
Being overweight or obese is a significant contributor to type 2 diabetes. Many patients can manage their type 2 diabetes by eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise, and using medications to help control blood sugar, or achieve glycemic control, but for a significant minority of patients who have not seen much improvement in spite of these methods, semaglutide is a promising development.
For their phase II trial of the pill version of semaglutide, Professor Davies and her team enrolled 632 patients with type 2 diabetes whose current treatment was not achieving sufficient glycemic control, for instance through diet and exercise, or through use of other medicine like metformin. The results showed that 71 per cent of patients on the pill form of semaglutide achieved a ‘clinically relevant’ weight loss of 5 per cent or more.
Read the full NEJM article here: https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa2032183