Lilly’s Mounjaro Bests Novo’s Diabetes Drugs in Comparison Study

Eli Lilly_Jonathan Weiss

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Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced additional results from a Phase I mechanism of action study, showing that its injectable Mounjaro (tirzepatide) induces greater weight loss than placebo and Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide in adults with type 2 diabetes.

The new findings, revealed in an oral presentation at the American Diabetes Association’s 82nd Scientific Sessions, showed that patients taking the 15-mg Mounjaro treatment dropped 11.2 kg ( (24.7 lb.) of body weight after 28 weeks. In comparison, those who were on 1-mg semaglutide only lost 6.9 kg (15.2 lb.), while those in the placebo arm lost no weight.

Lilly’s diabetes drug likewise led to significantly greater reductions in fat mass. Patients who were assigned to Mounjaro lost 9.7 kg (21.4 lb.) of fat, as opposed to only 5.9 kg (13.0 lb) in comparators who were taking semaglutide. Moreover, Mounjaro was able to successfully suppress the patients’ appetites, leading to a nearly 350-kcal drop in energy intake.

This phase I mechanism-of-action study enrolled adults with type 2 diabetes who were randomly assigned to receive Mounjaro 15 mg, semaglutide 1 mg or placebo. Interventions were compared in terms of caloric intake, appetite ratings and body composition after 28 weeks. Both patients and researchers were blinded to the treatment allocations.

Also presented at the 2022 ADA Scientific Sessions were results from studies within the SURPASS global registration program for Mounjaro. Data from an exploratory analysis of SURPASS-2 and SURPASS-3, shared during a poster session, showed that patients taking 5-, 10- or 15-mg doses of Mounjaro achieved their weight and A1C targets four to 12 weeks earlier than those taking 1-mg semaglutide or titrated insulin degludec.

Meanwhile, a post-hoc analysis of all five studies under SURPASS showed that between 87% and 97% of all type 2 diabetes patients taking Mounjaro saw notable declines in their body weight and hemoglobin A1C levels.

"Lilly is proud to present new mechanism of action data and new analyses of the results that Mounjaro delivered throughout the SURPASS program at the ADA's Scientific Sessions, helping us further evaluate how Mounjaro can help adults living with type 2 diabetes manage key aspects of their disease," Laura Fernández Landó, M.D., associate vice president of medical at Lilly Diabetes, said in a statement.

"Exploring factors such as how quickly Mounjaro can help lower A1C and weight, or the relationship between those two measures throughout the SURPASS program, is important as we begin to bring Mounjaro to people living with type 2 diabetes," she added.

Mounjaro, an injectable single-molecule drug that activates receptors for the hormones glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide and glucagon-like peptide-1, was approved last month by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Delivered in once-weekly doses, Mounjaro boosts patients’ blood sugar control and is best used alongside dietary, exercise and other lifestyle adjustments.

Following Mounjaro’s approval, Lilly invested over $2 billion to establish two new manufacturing sites in Boone County, Indiana. According to company representatives, these facilities will serve to support the growing demand for Lilly’s clinical pipeline, allowing the company to cater to more patients all over the country and beyond.

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