Weight problems drug Eli Lilly helped sufferers lose as much as 24% of their weight

Eli Lilly and Company, headquarters of a pharmaceutical company in Alcobendas, Madrid, Spain.

Cristina Arias | cover | Getty Images

Eli LillyThe experimental drug has helped patients lose up to 24% of their weight after nearly a year. This is the highest weight loss in the obesity treatment field to date, according to new mid-stage clinical trial results released Monday.

The phase 2 study followed 338 adults who were obese or overweight and received either the drug company’s injection, retatrutid, or a placebo each week.

Patients taking a 12-mg dose of Retatrutid lost an average of 17.5% of their body weight, or 41 pounds, after 24 weeks, compared with 1.6% for those taking the placebo.

Patients lost an average of 24.2%, or 58 pounds, after 48 weeks. Those taking the placebo lost 2.1% of their body weight over the same period.

The study researchers said the average weight loss did not appear to have plateaued after 48 weeks, suggesting a longer study could show even more. Eli Lilly is currently recruiting patients for a Phase III study.

These data suggest that Eli Lilly’s Retatrutid is the “most effective anti-obesity drug to date,” said Michael Weintraub, an endocrinologist at NYU Langone Health, in a Twitter post.

Eli Lilly’s other obesity drug Mounjaro, approved for type 2 diabetes, has helped patients lose up to 21% of their weight in clinical trials.

Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy, approved for weight loss, has been shown in trials to reduce weight by up to 15%.

Like Wegovy and Mounjaro, Eli Lilly’s Retatrutid is a weekly injection that alters patients’ eating habits and leads to decreased appetite by mimicking certain hormones in the gut.

But Wegovy only mimics a hunger-regulating hormone called GLP-1, while Mounjaro mimics GLP-1 and another hormone called GIP.

Retatrutid mimics three different hunger-regulating hormones: GLP-1, GIP, and glucagon. This appears to have greater effects on a person’s appetite and satisfaction with food.

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