New weight loss drugs are coming with fewer side effects

Researchers are expected to present data on 27 GLP-1 drugs at the 2024 American Diabetes Association (ADA) conference in Orlando, Florida.

Following the success of Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Wegovy and Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro and Zepbound, a new wave of weight loss drugs is coming as pharmaceutical companies battle it out for who will stand out in the field of GLP-1 drugs. .

In fact, some experimental drugs already in the works may not be limited to treating diabetes and obesity, but also improve liver and heart function, while having fewer side effects, such as the loss of muscle mass seen with circulating drugs.

Researchers are expected to present information on 27 GLP-1 drugs in development at the 2024 American Diabetes Association (ADA) conference in Orlando, Florida.

“We’ve heard about Ozempic and Mounjaro and so on, but now we’re seeing a lot of different drug candidates in the pipeline, from very early clinical to late clinical trials,” said Marlon Pragnell, ADA’s vice president for Research and Science.

Much of the data presented comes from animal studies or early-stage human trials. However, some submissions also include mid- or even late-stage trials, according to the list shared by the agency.

Approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, is expected to take several years for most, although some may be available for prescription in the US within the next few years.

“We are seeing an unprecedented acceleration in the development of GLP drugs,” said Dr. Christopher McGowan, a gastroenterologist who runs a weight loss clinic in Cary, North Carolina.

“Although existing drugs are highly effective, there is a need for new weight loss drugs that are more cost-effective and have fewer side effects,” McGowan said.

Market competition is indeed expected to drive down prices.

But it’s not just GLP-1 drugs in the pipeline. Ahead of the diabetes conference, Denmark-based biotech company Zealand Pharma released data showing that high doses of the experimental weight-loss drug petrelitide helped reduce body weight by an average of 8.6% over 16 weeks.

The drug, which is given as a weekly injection, is unique because it mimics the hormone amylin, which helps control blood sugar. The hope is that patients will experience fewer side effects, such as nausea

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