Two new phase 2 studies suggest that the investigational drug orforglipron, developed by Eli Lilly, shows promise in the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Currently, GLP-1 agonists (a class of medications utilized in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity) approved for these conditions are administered via under the skin injection, or orally in pill form. However, no oral GLP-1 agonists are approved for obesity, and only one, oral semaglutide, is approved for type 2 diabetes.
We are highlighting this story today to recognize the hard work of JoinAStudy investigator Dr. John O’Mahony and his research team at Bluewater Clinical Research, whose participation in these trials were essential in providing the necessary data to reach these conclusions. We would also like to thank all the volunteers who dedicated their time and effort into attending study related visits, and meeting the other requirements of participation.
Oral semaglutide requires patients to take it in a fasting state and wait at least 30 minutes before eating or drinking, due to the slow rate at which it is absorbed by the body. In contrast, orforglipron is a small molecule that acts on the GLP-1 receptor but, can be taken with or without food, with no consequences to its effectiveness. Dr. Juan Frias, the lead author of the phase 2 trial in type 2 diabetes, explained that orforglipron, being a chemical rather than a protein, behaves like any other pill.
The phase 2 trial results of orforglipron in treating overweight or obese adults were presented at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 83rd Scientific Sessions, and simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings showed promising potential for orforglipron as a drug that patients may tolerate better than oral semaglutide, which has strict restrictions on administration. Dr. Elisabetta Patorno, the session’s moderator, commented on the exciting findings, noting that patients may find it less cumbersome to take orforglipron compared to oral semaglutide.
However, further testing, including phase 3 trials, is required for orforglipron to progress in its development. The results from the phase 2 studies indicate promise, and future phases will shed more light on its efficacy and safety. Overall, the studies suggest that orforglipron may offer an alternative treatment option for individuals with obesity and type 2 diabetes, potentially improving patient adherence and convenience compared to current injectable or oral therapies.
To read more about the results of this study, visit Medscape.com.