Pfizer’s oral diabetes drug has shown promising results in terms of weight loss, rivaling the highly sought-after drug Ozempic from Novo Nordisk, according to experts. The mid-stage trial involved over 400 adults with Type 2 diabetes who were given Pfizer’s danuglipron twice a day or a placebo pill for approximately four months to assess its effectiveness.
The findings, published in JAMA Network, revealed that every dose of danuglipron led to a reduction in patients’ blood sugar levels at week 16 compared to the placebo. Moreover, the highest doses of the pill, specifically 120 milligrams or 80 milligrams, demonstrated significant weight loss effects in patients at week 16 compared to the placebo.
For example, the study indicated that individuals who took the 120-milligram dose of the drug twice daily for 16 weeks experienced an average weight loss of around 10 pounds. These results align closely with the outcomes observed in Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide, marketed as Ozempic for diabetes and Wegovy for chronic weight management.
Dr. Marc Siegel, a medical contributor on Fox News, stated that Pfizer’s pill works in the same manner as the injection-based Ozempic, noting that the results are comparable. One advantage of Pfizer’s candidate is that it is administered orally, unlike Wegovy and Ozempic, which require injections. Siegel emphasized that the need for injections is a deterrent for some patients.
Diabetes Drug Could Be Game Changer For Obesity And Weight Loss
Furthermore, unlike other semaglutide pills on the market, Pfizer’s candidate can be taken at any time and does not have to be consumed on an empty stomach. Siegel predicted that Pfizer’s oral drug has the potential to be a “huge, huge drug.”
The success of Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy and Ozempic, both based on semaglutide, has prompted increased investment in weight loss medications. Celebrities and high-profile figures have lauded their effectiveness as weight loss treatments, leading to a surge in popularity. Recently, Eli Lilly and Co. announced the potential inclusion of tirzepatide, sold as Mounjaro, among the medications capable of aiding weight loss. In a late-stage study, drug-assisted overweight or obese individuals with diabetes in losing up to 15.7% of their body weight, approximately 34 pounds, over a period of around 17 months. It is believed that if approved, tirzepatide could be even more potent than existing drugs.
Ozempic, approved in 2017, primarily targets Type 2 diabetes, with weight loss being a secondary effect of the drug’s mechanism of action. In contrast, Wegovy received approval four years later specifically for chronic weight management in adults who are obese or overweight and have at least one weight-related condition.