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Obesity drug takes key step to becoming available

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A new obesity drug called retatrutide will move to the final phase of testing, said pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly, after promising early results showed it could help people lose weight.

It is the latest in a new generation of treatments targeting obesity, a public health crisis that globally affects more than a billion people.

An Eli Lilly and Company pharmaceutical manufacturing plant is pictured in Branchburg, New Jersey.
REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
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Phase two testing of the drug showed patients who are obese but do not have diabetes could lose 22% to 24% of their body weight over a 48-week period.

Retatrutide has performed better at reducing obesity than its predecessor, tirzepatide, a diabetes medication earlier developed by Eli Lilly. In trials of tirzepatide for those with obesity, study participants lost 16% to 22.5% of their body weight.

Both retatrutide and tirzepatide make patients feel full more quickly, in contrast to older-generation weight loss pills that made food taste bad.