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HomeNewsInternational NewsPowerful new obesity drug poised to upend weight loss care

Powerful new obesity drug poised to upend weight loss care

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By JONEL ALECCIA

(AP) — As a growing number of overweight Americans clamor for Ozempic and Wegovy — drugs touted by celebrities and on TikTok to pare pounds — an even more powerful obesity medicine is poised to upend treatment.

Tirzepatide, an Eli Lilly and Co. drug approved to treat type 2 diabetes under the brand name Mounjaro, helped people with the disease who were overweight or had obesity lose up to 16% of their body weight, or more than 34 pounds, over nearly 17 months, the company said on Thursday.

The late-stage study of the drug for weight loss adds to earlier evidence that similar participants without diabetes lost up to 22% of their body weight over that period with weekly injections of the drug. For a typical patient on the highest dose, that meant shedding more than 50 pounds.

Having diabetes makes it notoriously difficult to lose weight, said Dr. Nadia Ahmad, Lilly’s medical director of obesity clinical development, which means the recent results are especially significant. “We have not seen this degree of weight reduction,” she said.

Based on the new results, which have not yet been published in full, company officials said they will finalize an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for fast-track approval to sell tirzepatide for chronic weight management. A decision could come later this year. A company spokeswoman would not confirm whether the drug would be marketed for weight loss in the U.S. under a different brand name.

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