A new weight loss drug under development significantly reduces the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research published online in the Diabetes Care journal.
California-based drugmaker Vivus conducted a late-stage clinical study of overweight and obese patients with prediabetes or metabolic syndrome – both precursors for type 2 diabetes – to examine the effect of its weight loss medication Qsymia on diabetes risk.
A total of 475 subjects were randomized to either a standard or large doses of the drug, or placebo, together with intensive lifestyle modification for a period of 108 weeks.
During follow-up, researchers found that participants taking Qsymia experienced significant weight loss along with markedly reduced progression to type 2 diabetes and improvements in multiple cardiometabolic disease risk factors.
Compared with the placebo group, those who took the standard dose of Qsymia were 70.5% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes on an annual basis, while those on the larger dose had a 78.7% lower risk of the metabolic disease.
Analysts say the results of the Phase 3 trial are a “significant positive” for Vivus because they provide more evidence of Qsymia’s effectiveness and tolerable side effects, as well as the health benefits from weight loss associated with the drug.
Qsymia is a chronic weight management drug treatment in conjunction with a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity for obese adults who have at least one weight-related co-morbidity (e.g. hypertensio, type 2 diabetes, or dyslipidemia).

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