Semaglutide works by hijacking the body’s own appetite regulating system in the brain leading to reduced hunger and calorie intake.
Those taking part in the study also received individual counselling sessions from registered dietitians every four weeks to help them stick to a diet and exercise program.
In those taking semaglutide, the average weight loss was 34 pounds, with a reduction in BMI of -5.54. The placebo group observed an average weight loss of 5.75 pounds with a reduction in BMI of -0.92.
With the weight loss came a reduction in risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, such as waist circumference, blood fats, blood sugar and blood pressure and reported improvements in their overall quality of life.
Semaglutide has now been submitted for regulatory approval to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency and the National Institute of Clinical Excellence.
The study was published Feb. 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine.