In a 56-week long double-blind phase 3a clinical trial, part of the SCALETM (Satiety and Clinical Adiposity Liraglutide Evidence in Non-diabetic and Diabetic people) program, researchers identified the effectiveness of liraglutide 3 mg as an obesity treatment.
Liraglutide 3 mg is a GLP-1 analogue taken once a day. According to a previous report published in The Lancet, liraglutide is effective at reducing weight and the prevalence of risk factors in obese people without diabetes.
Liraglutide, brand name Victoza, is currently only approved at low doses for type 2 diabetes, not for weight management.
A total of 846 obese type 2 diabetics were split into three different groups:
- The liraglutide 3 mg group
- The liraglutide 1.8 mg group
- The placebo group
The average weight of the participants at the beginning of the study was 106 kg and their BMI was 37. On average, people treated with..:
- ...liraglutide 3 mg lost 6% weight
- ...liraglutide 1.8 mg lost 5% weight
- ...placebo only lost 2% of their initial weight
Patients in the liraglutide groups also achieved the best glycaemic control - from a baseline HbA1C of 8.0%, 69% of the diabetics on liraglutide 3 mg treatment achieved the recommended American Diabetes Association (ADA) target of 7%.
During the 12 week follow up period after treatment was over, both liraglutide groups experienced moderate weight gain.
Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief science officer of Novo Nordisk, said:
"We are pleased about the outcome of this trial and look forward to getting the results from the two remaining trials in the SCALETM programme. This SCALETM trial shows that it is possible to achieve both clinically significant weight loss and excellent glucose control with a single treatment in patients with type 2 diabetes. Weight management is often a greater challenge for this patient population and there is a need for new and effective treatment options."
The company expects the two remaining trials in the SCALETM programme to be complete within the next few months.