Lilly’s Investigational Two-in-One Diabetes Drug Shows Positive Results

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By : Suvarna Sheth

Eli Lilly and Company’s investigational two-in-one diabetes drug showed both meaningful blood sugar reduction and significant weight loss in people with Type 2 diabetes in a new, mid-stage study.

The data, spanning 6 months, showed an average HbA1c reduction of up to 2.4 percentage points and an average weight reduction of up to 12.7 percent, Lilly said in a statement.

The results may prompt the company to study the novel drug, known as dual GIP-GLP1, for the treatment of obesity.

According to the company press release, the weekly dual GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist integrate the action of both incretins into a single novel molecule, aiming to build upon the clinical benefits seen with a selective GLP-1 RA.

Incretins are a group of metabolic hormones that stimulate a decrease in blood glucose levels. They are released after eating and augment the secretion of insulin released from pancreatic beta cells of the islets of Langerhans by a blood glucose-dependent mechanism.

“These phase 2b clinical trial results for GIP/GLP-1 RA are unprecedented, and the impressive blood glucose and weight reductions were seen may lead to a new treatment option for people with Type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Juan P. Frias, president, and principal investigator, National Research Institute.

“The next wave of innovation in the study of incretins for treating Type 2 diabetes is fascinating. We’re taking the already proven benefits of GLP-1 receptor agonists and looking at a new molecule that integrates GIP action to see what additional benefits are possible,” he added.

The safety profile of GIP/GLP-1 RA was similar to the GLP-1 RA class. The most commonly reported side effects were gastrointestinal-related, including nausea and vomiting, which were mild to moderate and generally temporary, most often occurring at the start of the treatment.

The safety and efficacy of Lilly’s GIP/GLP-1 RA will be studied further in a large phase 3 clinical program that will be referred to as the SURPASS program.

Phase 3 studies for Type 2 diabetes are expected to begin no later than early 2019 and complete in late 2021. Lilly is evaluating the next steps in the study of GIP/GLP-1 RA for obesity and other conditions.

If successful in late-stage trials, Lilly’s drug may pose competition to other GLP-1 groups of drugs already on the market, such as Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic.

Findings were presented today at the 54th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Berlin and also published in The Lancet.


  1. “Lilly’s Investigational Dual GIP and GLP-1 Receptor Agonist Show Significant Reduction in HbA1c and Body Weight in People With Type 2 Diabetes.” October 4, 2018. Eli Lilly and Company. Retrieved: