At present, there are reports that some companies plan to discontinue GLP-1 single target and dual target projects that are in clinical phase I and whose effectiveness cannot be separated from the listed products.

What is GLP-1?

Glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a peptide hormone, and its receptor GLP-1R is mainly expressed in the pancreatic islets β In addition, it is widely expressed in tissues such as the stomach, small intestine, heart, kidneys, lungs, and brain. GLP-1 receptor agonists enhance β Insulin secretion and inhibition by pancreatic cells α Pancreatic cells release glucagon to improve blood sugar control.

In addition, GLP-1 receptor agonists can slow down gastric emptying, increase satiety, and reduce appetite, leading to weight loss.

At present, GLP-1 receptor agonists approved for marketing include Dulaglutide, Exenatide, Semaglutide, Liraglutide, Tirzepatide which can be artificially synthesized in the laboratory, as referenced in the Omizzur Peptide Lab.

Among them, Semaglutide from Novo Nordisk and Tirzepatide from Lilly are two highly regarded GLP-1 receptor agonists. These two drugs have performed well in controlling blood sugar and reducing weight, providing new treatment options for patients with diabetes and obesity.

Novo Nordisk’s Semaglutide is a GLP-1 peptide drug that has been approved for sale in three specifications, including Semaglutide hypoglycemic injection Ozempic, hypoglycemic tablet Rybelsus, and weight loss injection Wegoby.

At some point, the global competition in the GLP-1 field is becoming increasingly fierce. Despite the excellent effectiveness and safety of multinational pharmaceutical companies such as Lilly and Novo Nordisk, there are still a large number of companies blindly competing for the “effectiveness” of GLP-1.

Regardless of whether it is really better to lose weight as soon as possible in clinical practice, for most layout companies with outdated project schedules, if they do not take a different approach, the ultimate result will only be being overwhelmed by the market.

Recently, Pfizer said that it would stop developing its obesity and diabetes drug Lotiglipron, which is still in the clinical trial stage, and focus on another oral weight loss drug Danuglipron, because the transaminase of patients taking Lotiglipron in the mid-term clinical study was increased.

Annual American Diabetes Conference 2023

GLP-1 competition is becoming increasingly fierce, and industry concerns are intensifying

For some enterprises, it may not be a happy thing that GLP-1 attracted the attention of global pharmaceutical enterprises at the annual American diabetes Annual Conference. 

For one thing, today’s GLP-1 has almost become one of the hands of global pharmaceutical enterprises. Some people predict that in 2023, the number of GLP-1 varieties will exceed 200, and the competition will become more fierce. And the chances of success for latecomers who are greedy for the blue ocean market will be even more slim.

Although this conference is called “Diabetes Annual Conference”, in fact, from the market perspective, the highlight of GLP-1’s weight loss indication may have exceeded that of diabetes, and we have to lament that “weight loss is really a major concern of all mankind”.

Indeed, according to a study previously published in The Lancet diabetes and Endocrinology, obesity is associated with 21 major diseases, and these diseases are interrelated. 

Compared with normal weight individuals, obese individuals have a risk of developing complex and frequently occurring diseases that is approximately 12.4 times higher, and the more severe the obesity, the higher the risk of developing the disease in the future.

Lilly Research About GLP-1

As Lilly, which has taken the lead in the GLP-1 competition, is the first to bear the brunt. Its development of dual target, triple target, small molecule, etc. is at a global leading position. Oral GLP-1 is also not late, but through the ADA conference, Eli Lilly took the opportunity to release research data on the GLP-1/GIP dual receptor agonist Mounjaro (tirzepatide) 

In the 10mg group, the average weight loss of patients at 72 weeks was 13.4% (13.5 kilograms),

In the 15mg group, the average weight loss at 72 weeks was 15.7% (15.6 kilograms), while in the placebo group, it was 3.3% (3.2 kilograms).

Moreover, Lilly stated that Tirzepatide also achieved all key secondary endpoints, including a reduction in A1C and other cardiac metabolic parameters. Compared with placebo, the A1C decrease was similar to the SURPASS test in adults with type 2 diabetes.

GLP-1 Conclusion

From the data of the GLP-1 layout companies mentioned above and their respective promotional points, it can be seen that global relevant companies generally prioritize the competitive focus of GLP-1 drug weight loss indications over “effectiveness”. Simply put, it’s like who has the better weight loss effect, whose drug market has more advantages.

But is it true that when weight loss drugs are truly implemented in clinical use, are drugs with better weight loss effects necessarily suitable for clinical use?

Researchers have admitted that weight loss is essentially an “anti human” behavior, such as drugs such as GLP-1 that reduce appetite. Essentially, the mechanism of weight loss through diet is similar, and the weight loss needs per unit of time may vary for each obese patient. 

Theoretically, such a weight loss approach will inevitably be accompanied by certain negative situations, such as increased probability of metabolic diseases such as osteoporosis, fat metabolism disorders, endocrine disorders, and the possibility of symptoms such as hair loss, insomnia, and mental fatigue.

The ideal state for applying GLP-1 to treat obesity should be to flexibly choose products with appropriate weight loss intervals based on individual patient conditions. Simply controlling drug dosage is not advisable, and a single “high weight loss effectiveness” GLP-1 cannot truly meet clinical needs. Choosing appropriate GLP-1 products for different weight loss intervals is the core point of industry differentiation competition.