World news – New wonder drug welcomed a game changer in the fight against obesity

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The average participant in the study lost 15.3 kg (almost three stones), according to the study. Photo: PA

Nina Massey

A new drug used to treat obesity that could reduce body weight by up to 20 percent has been dubbed a « game changer » by researchers.

According to a global study , in which researchers from University College London (UCL) participated, more than a third (35 percent) of people taking a new drug to treat the disease lost more than a fifth of their total body weight.

Researchers say that for the first time it is possible to achieve through medication what was previously only possible through weight loss surgery.

The drug semaglutide hijacks the body’s appetite regulation system in the brain and leads to a reduction in hunger and calorie intake.

Rachel Batterham, who directs the Center for Obesity Research at UCL, is a lead author on the paper, which involved nearly 2,000 people in 16 countries.

“Three quarters (75 percent) of people who received semaglutide lost more than 10 percent of their body weight and more than a third lost more than 20 percent. No other drug has come close to this weight loss – this really is a game changer.

« For the first time, people can do through medication what only weight loss surgery could do. »

Prof. Batterham added that the drug could have a significant impact on UK health policy in the coming years.

The average participant in the study lost 15.3 kg (almost three stones), according to the study.

This was accompanied by a reduction in risk factors for heart disease and diabetes such as waist size, blood lipids, blood sugar and blood pressure, and reported improvements in their general quality of life.

The study’s UK chief investigator, Professor John Wilding of the University of Liverpool, said: “This is a significant advance in the treatment of obesity.

« Semaglutide has already been approved and is used clinically in a lower dose for the treatment of diabetes. Therefore, we as doctors are already familiar with its use. »

The evidence from this study has submitted semaglutide for regulatory approval to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of obesity .

The randomized controlled study included 1,961 adults who were either overweight or obese (average weight 105 kg / 16.5 stone, body mass index 38 kg / m2) and at 129 locations in 16 countries in Asia, Europe, North America and South America was carried out.

Participants took a weekly dose of 2.4 mg semaglutide or a matching placebo by injection under the skin

For those who took semaglutide, the average weight loss was 15.3 kg with a decrease in BMI of minus 5.54.

The placebo group saw an average weight loss of 2.6 kg (0.4 stone) with a reduction in BMI of minus 0.92.

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