Eli Lilly's Experimental Weight-Loss Drug Shows Promising Study Results

A new weight-loss drug is making headlines after a study conducted by Eli Lilly showed promising results during a large trial. According to Healthline, the drug tirzepatide has not yet been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and is still in the experimental stages. Tirzepatide is a hunger suppressant that helps with obesity. The drug contains synthetic mimics of two hormones, namely GLP-1 and GIP, which our bodies use once we're done eating. These hormones are naturally released to help us feel full after a meal.

The study happened over a 72-week timespan with 2,539 participants who were either overweight or obese with at least one comorbidity, except type 2 diabetes, Science Alert reports. Once the trial began in December 2019, each participant was given a once-weekly injection of tirzepatide or a placebo at one of the company's study locations. Participants didn't know which injection they received, and were told to additionally reduce their calorie intake while increasing physical activity. Doses given to study participants also differed, ranging from 5, 10, or 15 milligrams.

Weight lost during Eli Lilly trial

The initial results have been released to the public, and the drug appears to help people lose weight. Those in the study weighed an average of 231 pounds and had an average body mass index (BMI) of 38 when the trial began, according to the New York Times. Participants given tirzepatide lost an average of 52 pounds, or around 22.5% of their body weight. Once the phase was over, patients who received the highest dose of the drug had an average BMI of 30, weighing around 180 pounds.

Participants who received 5- or 10- milligram doses also lost weight during the trial. Lilly reports participants who took a 5-milligram dosage of tirzepatide lost an average of 16% of their body weight, or 35 pounds. 10-milligram dosage participants lost an average of 49 pounds, or 21.4% of their body weight.

While the New York Times notes that the results have not yet been submitted to a peer-reviewed medical journal, the results are shocking, especially compared to placebo. Placebo participants lost only 5 pounds, or 2.4% of their body weight during the study.