According to the research published in the New England Journal for Medicine, there is a chance improving the health of people with obesity and could play a major part in helping reducing the impact of different disease.
The drug named semaglutide, works by attacking the human body appetite regulating system in the brain leading to reduced hunger and calorie intake. According to the Prof. Batterham it is a major breakthrough for improving the health of people with obesity. About 75 % people who received semaglutide 2.4mg lost more than 10% of their body weight and more than 1/3 lost more than 20%. No other drug has come close to producing this level of weight loss. He added that the impact of obesity on health has been increased due to recent covid-19, as risk of dying is high from virus if the people are obese. It will also help in people with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease and certain types of cancers.
The trial was done in 1961 adults who were either overweight or had obesity and took place at 16 countries across Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. All the participants took a 2.4 mg dose of the drug weekly through injection. About 94.3% of participants completed the 68 week study, which started in autumn 2018.
The drug possesses compound structurally similar to the human glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) hormone, which is released into the blood from the gut after meals.
- John P.H. Wilding, Rachel L. Batterham, Salvatore Calanna, Melanie Davies, Luc F. Van Gaal, Ildiko Lingvay, Barbara M. McGowan, Julio Rosenstock, Marie T.D. Tran, Thomas A. Wadden, Sean Wharton, Koutaro Yokote, Niels Zeuthen, Robert F. Kushner. Once-Weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity. New England Journal of Medicine, 2021; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2032183