Experimental weight-loss jab is five times more effective than Wegovy and Ozmepic

A new weight-loss injection currently being reviewed by the FDA can trigger “robust weight loss” results, latest evidence indicates.

Researchers have found that the drug, VK2735, could burn fat up to five times faster than the drug used in Wegovy and Ozempic.

During the trial, the new once-weekly injection helped people living with overweight and obesity lose up to 32lbs in 13 weeks – nearly 15% of their bodyweight.

Previous clinical trials of the drug behind Wegovy and Ozempic discovered that people lost the same amount of weight in 68 weeks.

Viking Pharmaceuticals – the biotech company which makes the new drug – has seen its stock-market value reach $8.5 billion after the results of this trial were publicised.

Some participants in the trial did experience “mild” side effects from the drug, such as vomiting and nausea.

However, it is believed that participants in the Wegovy and Ozempic trials also experienced the same side effects.

The VK2735 drug still needs to go through Phase Three trials, even though the results of Phase Two show that the jab is five times more effective than other injections that are already available. Once the drug passes Phase Three, the FDA will be able to approve the injection for use.

According to Viking Pharmaceuticals, the new drug works by mimicking the hormone Glucago-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), making people feel full for longer.

In addition, the drug also mimics glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) – reducing the speed of food travelling through the gut.

During the double-blinded trial, the team of researchers looked at the weight loss results of 176 adults who were living with obesity or overweight and at least one underlying co-morbidity, such as type 2 diabetes.

On average, the participants weighed 225lbs at the start of the study. They were divided into five groups and they either took a placebo or a randomised dose of VK2735, ranging from 2.5 to 15mg.

The research has revealed that nearly 90% of the participants in the group receiving the highest dose achieved a weight loss of at least 10% of their initial bodyweight – equivalent to 2.5lbs per week.

Meanwhile, the smallest amount of weight loss was recorded in the group that got 2.5mg per week, with these participants losing 20lbs over the study on average.

Only 4% of the participants in the placebo group experienced a weight loss at this level during the trial.

Dr Brian Lian, the CEO of Viking Pharmaceuticals, said: “We are excited to report the topline results from this important Phase Two study.

“VK2735 continues to demonstrate a promising efficacy and tolerability profile following 13 weeks of repeat dosing in obese subjects.”

He continued: “Notably, robust weight loss compared with placebo was observed early across all doses evaluated in the VENTURE study [Phase Two trial], and continued throughout the treatment period in all treatment groups.

“No evidence of a plateau at week 13 was observed for any VK2735 dose, suggesting further weight loss might be achieved from extended dosing periods.”

He concluded: “We look forward to progressing this important therapy into further clinical development later this year.”

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