Patients with type 2 diabetes that were treated with a weekly injection of the breakthrough drug Semaglutide were able to achieve an average weight loss of nearly 10kg, according to a new study published in The Lancet today.
Led by Melanie Davies, Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester and the Co-Director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre, the study showed that two thirds of patients with type 2 diabetes that were treated with weekly injections of a 2.4mg dose of Semaglutide were able to lose at least 5% of their body weight and achieved significant improvement in blood glucose control.
More than a quarter of patients were able to lose more than 15% of their body weight — far above that which has been observed with any other medicine administered to people with diabetes.
Professor Melanie Davies said: “These results are exciting and represent a new era in weight management in people with type 2 diabetes — they mark a real paradigm shift in our ability to treat obesity, the results bring us closer to what we see with more invasive surgery.
“It is also really encouraging that along with the weight loss we saw real improvements in general health, with significant improvement in physical functioning scores, blood pressure and blood glucose control.”
This global multi-centre trial was conducted at 149 sites in 12 countries across North America, Europe, South America, the Middle East, South Africa and Asia, involving 1,210 patients with type 2 diabetes whose current treatment was not achieving sufficient blood sugar control, for instance through diet and exercise, or through the use of metformin and other glucose lowering medicines used to control the disease.
It is one of a portfolio of studies conducted as part of the Semaglutide Treatment Effect for people with obesity Programme (STEP) programme. Professor Davies has been involved in all four of the STEP clinical trials involving Semaglutide for weight management completed so far, where the medication was shown to help patients achieve an average weight of loss of between 10kg and 17kg of body weight.
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, semiglutide is a promising development.
This study was also supported by the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, of which Professor Davies is the Director.