Eli Lilly's blockbuster diabetes drug Mounjaro and weight-loss therapy Zepbound, as well Novo Nordisk's rival medicines Ozempic and Wegovy are being studied to see whether they can improve health in other ways.
Lilly on Tuesday said Zepbound had been shown in a mid-stage trial to help reduce symptoms of a fatty liver disease. The trial showed 73.9% of patients achieved absence of the disease with no worsening of liver scarring at 52 weeks, compared to 13% of patients on placebo.
Below are other conditions obesity treatments are being tested against:
* A study by the University of Copenhagen's Psychiatric Centre Rigshospitalet is investigating whether semaglutide, sold as Novo's Wegovy and Ozempic, can help reduce alcohol intake in 108 patients diagnosed with alcohol use disorder and obesity.
* Novo Nordisk has begun a trial testing semaglutide in patients with early Alzheimer's disease. The study, which will enroll 1,840 patients, could reach primary completion as early as 2025.
* Eli Lilly is testing tirzepatide, sold as Mounjaro and Zepbound, for patients with heart failure and obesity. Lilly plans to enroll about 700 people in the study, which is expected to be completed by July 2024.
* Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong are testing Novo's semaglutide along with mechanical removal of clots in patients with strokes caused by the blockage of large blood vessels to the brain. The approach will be compared with standard therapy. The mid-stage study aims to recruit about 140 patients.
Chronic kidney disease
* Lilly's tirzepatide is being evaluated in a mid-stage study of chronic kidney disease in patients with obesity. Lilly plans to enroll up to 140 participants.
* Novo is testing semaglutide in a late-stage trial of patients with a common type of fatty liver disease called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The study is expected to enroll about 1,200 patients and close as early as 2028.
* Lilly's tirzepatide is also being evaluated in a mid-stage study in nearly 200 NASH patients.
* Researchers at the Danish Headache Center are testing semaglutide along with a very low calorie diet as a treatment for new-onset idiopathic intracranial hypertension, a condition associated with obesity in which blood pressure inside the head rises. The study aims to recruit about 50 patients and wrap up as early as 2025.
* Lilly's tirzepatide is in late-stage testing for patients with obstructive sleep apnea and obesity, including people who use respiratory devices that help keep their airways open while they sleep, as well as people who don't use such devices. The study is expected to enroll about 469 participants.
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