Pfizer’s weight-loss drug is corresponding to Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic
Weight-loss drugs have become a hot topic as public health officials and pharmaceutical companies seek solutions to the growing global obesity epidemic.
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An oral drug manufactured by Pfizer causes similar weight loss as the competition Novo NordiskOzempic is Ozempic’s blockbuster injection, according to a peer-reviewed Phase 2 clinical trial results published Monday.
The results were presented at a medical conference late last year and did not compare Pfizer’s drug to Ozempic or other weight-loss drugs. JAMA Network is only now releasing a peer-reviewed study.
Pfizer’s study followed 411 adults with type 2 diabetes who took either the company’s pill, danuglipron, twice a day or a placebo.
Body weight was “statistically significantly reduced” after patients took either 120-milligram or 80-milligram versions of danugliprone for 16 weeks, according to the study.
The study found that patients taking a 120-milligram version lost an average of about 10 pounds over that period.
Pfizer’s drug could offer an advantage over frequent injections as an oral treatment option.
The study results also suggest that Danuglipron could be as effective as Ozempic for weight loss, although there are stark differences in dosage.
A phase 3 clinical trial of Ozempic found that adults taking a 1-milligram version of the injection lost an average of about 9.9 pounds over a 30-week period. Patients take this shot once a week.
Ozempic is approved in the US to treat diabetes and is now used off-label for weight loss.
Novo Nordisk’s other drug, Wegovy, is the same drug but is approved for “chronic weight control.”
A Phase 3 clinical trial of Wegovy found that adults who took a 2.4-milligram version of the injection each week lost an average of about 33 pounds over a 68-week period.
Danuglipron, Ozempic and Wegovy belong to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists.
They mimic a hormone produced in the gut called GLP-1, which signals the brain when a person is full.
The drugs can also help people treat type 2 diabetes because they stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas, thereby lowering blood sugar levels.
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New York-based Pfizer is the latest pharmaceutical company to enter the blockbuster weight-loss drug market.
Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Wegovy have been in the national limelight in recent years as “miracles” for weight loss.
Hollywood stars, social media influencers and billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk have reportedly used the popular injections to shed unwanted weight.
But experts say the drugs could perpetuate a dangerous diet culture that idealizes weight loss and thinness.
Some patients who stop taking the medication also complain of weight gain that is difficult to control.
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than two in five adults suffer from obesity. About one in eleven adults suffers from severe obesity.
Clarification: The title of this article has been updated to remove a reference to evidence showing that Pfizer’s drug may work faster than Ozempic. While weight loss from Pfizer’s drug occurred in about half the time it takes to lose the same amount of weight as Ozempic, Pfizer’s drug dosage was significantly higher than Ozempic’s.
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