Medication Shows Promise for Weight Loss in Patients With Obesity, Diabetes

Limitations of the study included the sample size of the participants and a gender imbalance across the groups, with more women randomized to bimagrumab and more men to the placebo.

A new study confirms that treatment with bimagrumab, an antibody that blocks activin type 2 receptors and stimulates skeletal muscle growth, is safe and effective for treating excess adiposity and metabolic disturbances of adult patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes.

"These exciting results suggest that there may be a novel mechanism for achieving weight loss with a profound loss of body fat and an increase in lean mass, along with other metabolic benefits," said corresponding study author Steve Heymsfield, MD, FTOS, in a press release.

For the study, 75 patients with type 2 diabetes, a body mass index between 28 and 40, and glycated hemoglobin A1c levels between 6.5% and 10% were selected for the phase 2 randomized clinical trial. Patients were injected with either bimagrumab or a placebo every 4 weeks for 48 weeks, with both groups receiving diet and exercise counseling. The research took place at 9 sites in the United States and the United Kingdom from February 2017 to May 2019, according to the study authors.

Researchers found an approximately 21% decrease in body fat in the bimagrumab group compared with 0.5% in the placebo group. Further, the results also revealed the bimagrumab group gained 3.6% of lean mass compared with a loss of 0.8% in the placebo group. The combined loss in total body fat and gain in lean mass led to a net 6.5% reduction in body weight in patients receiving bimagrumab compared with a 0.8% weight loss in their counterparts receiving the placebo.

Limitations of the study included the sample size of the participants and a gender imbalance across the groups, with more women randomized to bimagrumab and more men to the placebo.

REFERENCE

Medication shows promise for weight loss in patients with obesity, diabetes. EurekAlert! https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-01/tos-msp011221.php. Published January 13, 2021. Accessed January 14, 2021.