Liraglutide compares favorably to weight loss drug


Novo Nordisk has released results from a 32-week extension of a 20-week phase 2 obesity study in which, patients were treated with its diabetes medication liraglutide. The drug was tested in 398 of the 564 participants who were in the original 20-week study; all patients did not have diabetes.

Liraglutide was compared in the study to the weight loss medication orlistat, which is marketed as Alli by GlaxoSmithKline and Xenical by Roche.

After 52 weeks, liraglutide given once daily at the highest dose led to a mean weight loss of around 16.5-17.6 lbs and a placebo-adjusted weight loss of around 12.1–13.2 lbs, compared to a weight loss after 20 weeks of just above 15.4 lbs from baseline and 9.9 lbs placebo-adjusted. Around 75 percent of the people treated with the highest dose achieved a weight loss larger than 5 percent and more than 35 percent achieved a weight loss larger than 10 percent after 52 weeks of treatment compared to around 25 percent and around 10 percent, respectively, reaching the same weight loss targets with placebo. The people treated with orlistat lost 7.7–8.8 lbs from baseline and around 45 percent and around 15 percent achieved a weight loss larger than 5 percent and 10 percent after 52 weeks of treatment, respectively.

Of all patients participating in the extension study, around 30 percent showed signs of prediabetes at randomization. After one year of being treated, around 80 percent of this prediabetes subgroup of patients treated with the highest dose of liraglutide no longer showed any signs of prediabetes, compared to around 30 percent for the placebo and orlistat-treated groups.

Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief science officer at Novo Nordisk, said: “The results of the extension of the phase 2 obesity study clearly demonstrates that liraglutide has a sustained ability to reduce body weight while at the same time providing protection against deteriorating glycemic control.”

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