Glucagon-like peptide Wegovy helps keep weight off after two years, flags study
08 Nov 2021 --- Obese adults treated with Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy – a 2.4 mg subcutaneous injection of semaglutide – achieved significant and sustained weight loss over a two-year study period. With participants able to keep the weight off, researchers hope the substance will help treat and manage obesity as a chronic disease.
Semaglutide is an analog of the human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) hormone, with 94% similarity to the native human GLP-1 molecule. It induces weight loss by reducing hunger, increasing feeling of fullness and thereby helping people eat less and reduce their food cravings.
The trial demonstrated an average weight loss of 15.2% with Wegovy at 104-weeks vs 2.6% with placebo. It also showed that 77.1% of study participants who received Wegovy lost at least 5% of their body weight, compared to 34.4% of those who received a placebo.
“It is very encouraging for us to see that even after two years of treatment with semaglutide 2.4 mg, we still see a significant and sustained weight loss of 15%,” says Martin Holst Lange, executive vice president of development at Novo Nordisk.
“For many people, maintaining an achieved weight loss over time is an equally big challenge as achieving the weight loss in the first place.”
Losing weight and keeping it off
The trial’s participants used a reduced-calorie meal plan (~500 kcal/day diet) and increased physical activity (150 minutes/week of physical activity) for two years.
The study group comprised 304 adults with obesity and at least one weight-related comorbidity, but without Type 2 diabetes.
Study participants were randomly assigned (in a 1:1 ratio) to once-weekly subcutaneous semaglutide 2.4 mg or placebo for 68 weeks.
“People with obesity try on average seven times to lose weight before seeking medical care. Once the weight is lost, however, it all too often comes back, which is why it is critically important to find options to help people living with obesity lose weight and keep it off,” says W. Timothy Garvey, lead author of the study.
Garvey is also a professor of medicine at the department of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
Stepping up against obesity
The latest trial was phase 3b of the Semaglutide Treatment Effect in People with obesity (STEP) clinical trial program.
The global clinical phase 3a program consists of four trials and has enrolled approximately 4,500 adults with overweight or obesity.
Wegovy (semaglutide 2.4 mg) is currently approved for weight management as an adjunct to diet and exercise in the US and UK only and is under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and several other health authorities.
National efforts to reduce chronic disease
Obesity has been a focal point of governments looking to increase public health.
In March, the UK government allotted £100 million (US$139 million) to help support children, adults and families achieve and maintain healthy weights.
Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration is considering an update on the use of “healthy” nutrient content claims on food packaging.
Encouraging healthy eating through labeling is part of FDA’s Nutrition Innovation Strategy (NIS) to address nutrition-related chronic diseases and curb obesity.
Edited by Missy Green
To contact our editorial team please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscribe now to receive the latest news directly into your inbox.