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Addressing the twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes is critical to slowing the trajectory of this ongoing public health crisis. Studies presented at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Scientific Sessions in San Diego on 23-26 June could be game changers in customising treatment for people with obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Higher doses of survodutide show increased weight loss

A much-needed treatment for billions living with overweight or obesity may be closer. Key findings from a phase 2 subcutaneous survodutide study showed up to 18.7% weight loss in participants and increased weight loss in those taking the highest dose. Regarding safety, just over 90% of the survodutide group reported side effects, primarily related to the digestive system.  Following these promising results, a phase 3 trial is in the pipeline.

Oral semaglutide demonstrates weight loss of up to 15%

People who struggle to lose weight with diet and physical activity alone can choose a form of semaglutide that suits them best. Currently used to treat type 2 diabetes, results from a phase 3 study using a semaglutide oral agent for weight loss revealed that higher doses at 50 mg resulted in a 15% weight loss. In addition, participants experienced a greater ease of movement with the weight loss, improving their quality of life in everyday activities.

Once-daily oral semaglutide shows improved type 2 diabetes management

A second oral semaglutide clinical trial in type 2 diabetes management for adults experiencing difficulties managing their glucose levels showed higher doses significantly lowered HbA1c levels (average blood glucose over the past three months). These results indicate that a broader range of oral semaglutide doses allows individualised dosing and better type 2 diabetes management.

Retatrutide for obesity, NAFLD and type 2 diabetes treatment

New data also showcased retatrutide phase 2 results from two studies. Given in weekly injections, retatrutide is presently in its trial stage for treating obesity and could offer better health outcomes.

In the first study, participants with obesity taking the highest doses lost nearly a quarter of their body weight during 11 months of treatment with an average of 27kg (60lb).

Concurrently, data from a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) subgroup raise the possibility of reversing early-stage liver disease and reducing comorbidities linked to obesity. Findings showed that for those with NAFLD, the fat in the liver normalised in 9 out of 10 cases following treatment with the two highest doses.

Results from the second retatrutide study showed that participants with type 2 diabetes lowered their HbA1c by 1.3% to 2.0% and lost more weight than the placebo group.

Obesity is a progressive condition with many medical, physical and psychosocial issues, including a greater risk for type 2 diabetes. Over 85% of people with type 2 diabetes have overweight or obesity. The findings from these studies pave the way for a future where obesity and type 2 diabetes management could be more effective, improving the lives of millions and reducing the public health burden.

Obesity and type 2 diabetes: a joint approach to halt the rise

Learn more about the connections between obesity and type 2 diabetes and the importance of joint action to tackle the rising prevalence of both conditions in this IDF D-Talk podcast.

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