Dual-action drug treats diabetes and obesity

May 17, 2022
Dual-action drug treats diabetes and obesity

A new type of treatment called the Mounjaro (tirzepatide) shot has just been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for type 2 diabetes. The once-weekly injection for adults was found to be effective at controlling blood sugar levels and – in some cases – obesity.

Mounjaro was developed to mimic a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which is naturally released by the intestines and known to regulate blood sugar and appetite. Unlike a previous drug that only targets the GLP-1 mechanism, Mounjaro also mimics another gut hormone called gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP).

Some clinical trials have found the Mounjaro GLP-1 and GIP agonist to be more effective as a type 2 diabetes treatment than therapies solely targeting GLP-1. Preliminary results of a large Phase III trial higlight the anti-obesity properties of Mounjaro – around two-thirds of overweight subjects on a high dose of Mounjaro dropped 20% of their total body weight after using the drug for a year.

The first treatment drug targeting the GLP-1 mechanism, called Wegovy, was approved for type 2 diabetes back in 2017. Clinical trials later found it to also be an effective anti-obesity drug in overweight non-diabetic subjects, leading to its FDA authorisation as an anti-obesity treatment just last year.

However, as the anti-obesity properties of Mounjaro is still under investigation, this authorisation by the FDA does not approve Mounjaro for any uses beyond type 2 diabetes, alongside a diet and exercise programme.

Category: Features, Pharmaceuticals

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