Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) has announced that its investigational drug tirzepatide led to more substantial blood glucose and body weight improvements in a Phase 3 trial than semaglutide, a diabetes drug from Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO) that recently scored FDA approval for weight loss in early June.
Lilly’s SURPASS-2 results published in The New England Journal of Medicine show tirzepatide achieved superior A1C and body weight reductions compared to injectable semaglutide in adults with type 2 diabetes.
A JAMA opinion article recently posited that semaglutide could lead to a ‘new dawn’ for obesity treatment.
The Lilly trial randomly assigned patients to receive tirzepatide at doses of 5 mg, 10 mg, or 15 mg or a 1-mg dose of semaglutide.
Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist. Conversely, tirzepatide is a dual glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist.
In the 40-week SURPASS-2 trial, investigators tested three doses of tirzepatide (5, 10 and 15 mg) and compared the findings to semaglutide data. All three were superior for tirzepatide.
The hemoglobin A1C reductions were as follows:
- A 5 mg dose led to a 2.09% reduction.
- A 10 mg dose led to a 2.37% reduction.
- A 15 mg dose led to a 2.46% reduction.
- A 1 mg dose of semaglutide led to a 1.86% reduction.
Weight reductions were as follows:
- A 5 mg led to a reduction of 7.8 kg (17.2 lbs.) or –8.5% of total body weight.
- A 10 mg led to a reduction of 10.3 kg (22.7 lbs.) or –11.0% of total body weight.
- A 15 mg led to a reduction of 12.4 kg (27.3 lbs.) or –13.1% of total body weight.
- Semaglutide led to a 6.2 kg (13.7 lbs.) weight reduction or –6.7% of total body weight.
The safety profile for tirzepatide was similar to that of semaglutide in the trial. The most frequent adverse events in the trial were gastrointestinal and were generally mild to moderate.
Assuming tirzepatide wins approval, it could offer significant potential to people with type 2 diabetes.
Filed Under: clinical trials, Drug Discovery