Obesity Drug Liraglutide Demonstrates Weight Loss

According to data presented at ObesityWeek 2014, 9 of 10 obese participants in the phase 3 SCALE Obesity and Prediabetes study lost weight with Novo Nordisk's liraglutide treatment alongside diet and exercise, compared with 65% receiving placebo.

According to data presented at ObesityWeek 2014, 9 of 10 obese participants in the phase 3 SCALE Obesity and Prediabetes study lost weight with Novo Nordisk’s liraglutide treatment alongside diet and exercise, compared with 65% receiving placebo.

In the trial, 3731 overweight or obese patients without diabetes were randomized to receive placebo or liraglutide 3 mg in combination with diet and exercise.

After 56 weeks, those taking liraglutide showed a significantly greater weight loss of 9.2%, compared with a 3.5% weight reduction among those taking placebo. In addition to losing more weight, the liraglutide group reported improvements in health-related quality of life, which was linked to better physical function.

"Obesity is more than a disease of excess weight. We know that people with obesity may experience increased physical and mental health problems, as well as a reduced quality of life," said study investigator Ken Fujioka, head of the Department of Nutrition and Metabolic Research at Scripps Clinic, in a press release. "It is encouraging to see data suggesting that the weight loss benefits of liraglutide 3 mg are associated with improved health-related quality of life for people with obesity."

According to Novo Nordisk, liraglutide is a once-daily, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue with 97% similarity to a naturally occurring hormone released after food intake. Like that human GLP-1, liraglutide reduces hunger and increases feelings of fullness after meals.

Liraglutide is an investigational product, as neither the FDA nor the European Medicines Agency has approved it.