Genetic Markers May Predict Strong Response to Novo Nordisk Wegovy

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Certain genes may help identify obese people who will respond well to the weight-loss medicine Wegovy.
Certain genes may help identify obese people who will respond well to the weight-loss medicine Wegovy.

Researchers have specified specific genetic markers that may predict which patients with obesity are most likely to respond strongly to Novo Nordisk’s weight-loss drug, Wegovy. 

The findings, presented at the Digestive Disease Week meeting in Washington, suggest that patients with this genetic profile are 95% likely to experience significant weight loss with the treatment.

Genetic Profile Linked to “Hungry Gut” Syndrome:

Dr. Andres Acosta of the Mayo Clinic, one of the study’s researchers, explained that certain genetic variants contribute to a condition known as “hungry gut.” 

This condition causes patients to feel full during meals but become hungry again shortly afterward because food exits their stomachs more quickly than usual. 

The study involved 84 patients who were prescribed Wegovy for obesity treatment. Those with the “hungry gut” genetic profile lost an average of 14.4% of their total body weight after nine months and 19.5% after a year on the drug.

Comparative Weight Loss Outcomes:

By contrast, participants without the genetic profile associated with “hungry gut” lost an average of 10.3% of their body weight after nine months, with no additional weight loss by the twelve-month mark. 

This disparity highlights the potential for using genetic markers to tailor obesity treatments more effectively, possibly avoiding the high costs of Wegovy for those less likely to benefit significantly.

Implications for Cost-Effective Treatment Strategies:

Given the high cost of Wegovy, which is listed at $1,349.02 per month, identifying patients who will derive the most benefit is crucial. 

Dr. Acosta emphasized that patients without specific genetic markers might achieve similar weight loss results with less expensive alternatives or other interventions such as different medications or surgery.

Need for Further Research:

While the study’s results are promising, larger and more diverse studies are needed to confirm the reliability of the “hungry gut” genetic profile in predicting responses to Wegovy. 

If validated, this approach could allow healthcare providers to better personalize obesity treatment, offering expensive drugs like Wegovy only to those who are most likely to benefit from them.

James Adam

James Adam, a noted business writer for CEO Times Magazine, specializes in insightful industry analysis and executive profiles. Known for his clear, concise style, James offers readers an expert perspective on global business trends and market dynamics.

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