On average, study participants weighed 105 kg at first and had a body mass index (BMI) of 38.
At the end of the study, those taking the higher dose of tirzepatide weighed about 81 kg and had an average BMI of just under 30.
Although Eli Lilly has yet to submit the data for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal or present them in public, the claim still astounds medical professionals, The New York Times reported. .
“Wow (and a double!)” Dr Sekar Kathiresan, chief executive officer of Verve Therapeutics, a company focused on drugs for heart disease, wrote in a tweet. Drugs like Eli Lilly’s are “really going to revolutionize the treatment of obesity,” he added.
The drug’s effects “appear to be significantly better than any other anti-obesity drug currently available in the US,” said another obesity specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Lee Kaplan.
The results were “very impressive”, he added.
They exceed levels commonly seen in weight loss drug trials and are typically only seen in surgical patients, the report said.
Because obesity is a chronic condition, patients will need to take tirzepatide for life, such as for blood pressure or cholesterol medications.
Diet and exercise, combined with previous obesity medications, can often result in a 10% weight loss in patients. That’s enough to improve health, but not nearly enough to make a big difference in the lives of obese people.
The only other treatment is bariatric surgery, which can result in significant weight loss. But many people don’t qualify or simply don’t want surgery.