Drugs that tweak your DNA to eliminate hunger FOR GOOD and retain every ounce of muscle… top obesity expert reveals the dozens of ‘Ozempic 2.0 meds’ being developed to cash in on obesity gold rush

Blockbuster drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy revolutionized the world of weight loss.

Experts estimate that the drugs alone will increase U.S. GDP by $360 billion by making workers more productive and healthier.

And despite growing evidence of lasting side effects such as diarrhea, stomach paralysis and suicidal ideation, the growth continues.

Weight loss experts are now predicting what Ozempic and Wegovy’s next chapter will look like, such as the drugs that will be available as cheaper pills or genetic changes that eliminate the need for drugs altogether.

This week Dr. Florencia Halperin, an endocrinologist and chief physician at Form Healthsaid there is a “massive pipeline of drugs” in development that could streamline or even eventually replace Ozempic.

Experts told DailyMail.com that there could be new forms of weight loss drugs within the next few years, including cheaper pills and gene editing.

Weight loss medications such as Ozempic and Wegovy mimic the production of the hormone GLP-1, which keeps the body full

Weight loss medications such as Ozempic and Wegovy mimic the production of the hormone GLP-1, which keeps the body full

Currently, Ozempic and Wegovy use the active ingredient semaglutide to mimic the production of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), a protein that activates hormones in the brain to tell the stomach that it is full.

‘We have known about GLP-1, a hormone that intestinal cells produce, since the 1980s, and that has paved the way for the development of GLP-1 receptor agonists,’ she told DailyMail.com.

‘But weight regulation is very complex, and GLP-1 is not the only pathway that controls weight regulation. There are other opportunities to develop drugs and other targets.’

However, there are risks associated with targeting certain hormones, as they can lead to a variety of bizarre side effects. For example, some patients have reported less desire to drink alcohol or gamble.

Although upcoming treatments are in various stages of testing, Dr. Halperin that options such as oral GLP-1 agonists and drugs that target other hormones could come to market in short order. “I can guess next year,” she said.

However, she noted that it may be several years before more extensive treatments, such as gene editing, become available to the public.

Weight loss medications on the market

Despite much confusion about which medications are approved for what, only two of the four medications commonly used for weight loss are actually approved to help people shed the pounds.

Wegovy – FDA approved for obesity

Children and adults 12 years and older who are obese or overweight and have at least one weight-related condition, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, can use the drug.

Ozempic – FDA-approved for adults with type 2 diabetes, but often prescribed off-label for obesity

Mounjaro – Approved by the FDA for adults with type 2 diabetes, but was prescribed off-label for obesity while approval was pending for Eli Lilly’s obesity drug Zepbound

Zepbound – recently approved by the FDA for obesity

Obese or overweight adults with at least one weight-related condition

She estimates that at least seventy treatments are in development.

GLP-1 agonists are quickly emerging, with the latest injection, Zepbound, being approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November.

The drug contains the active substance tirzepatide, which is also found in Mounjaro. It targets not only GLP-1, but also the hormone glucose-dependent insulintropic polypeptide (GIP), which experts think could also improve the way the body breaks down sugar and fat, in addition to dampening appetite.

Dr. Christopher McGowan, a gastroenterologist who runs a weight-loss clinic in Cary, North Carolina, told NBC News at the time, “This is the most effective form of pharmaceutical obesity treatment ever.”

Like Wegovy, Zepbound is also approved for obesity, while Ozempic only has approval for type 2 diabetes.

However, the long-term effects are yet to be seen. For example, a study published in December found that patients taking Zepbound gained 20 pounds more weight than Ozempic after stopping the medication.

Dr. Halperin said several studies are currently underway to test drugs that can target up to three hormones at once, such as GLP-1, GIP and glucagon, which regulates blood sugar levels.

“These drugs form a kind of layer to target initial mechanisms within one compound,” she said. ‘And then there are other drugs that target completely different pathways.’

The goal of many of these, done in rodent tests, is to maintain muscle mass, as some studies suggest that Ozempic and Wegovy lead to muscle loss, especially in older adults.

For example, New York-based Regeneron announced last month that it would test a combination of Wegovy with an antibody treatment that blocks receptors that regulate muscle growth. Bloomberg.

“Maintaining muscle mass is a very big problem,” Dr. Halperin said.

She explained that muscle tissue is essential for regulating various functions in the body, including basic movements such as walking and standing, and blood pressure. It also helps maintain bone health.

‘Maintaining muscle mass is very important when losing weight, because you don’t want to lose that healthy metabolic tissue. You want to maintain it or build it up over time,” Dr. Halperin said.

Some patients have reported uncomfortable side effects while taking Ozempic, including hair loss, diarrhea, and exhaustion

Some patients have reported uncomfortable side effects while taking Ozempic, including hair loss, diarrhea, and exhaustion

1708784506 13 Drugs that tweak your DNA to eliminate hunger FOR GOOD

She also pointed to an article published in the newspaper last year New England Journal of Medicinein which GLP-1 agonists made from small molecules were discussed.

Ozempic and Wegovy are biologic medications, which come from natural sources such as plants and animals rather than chemicals.

However, small molecule drugs are made from chemicals that are easier to make, meaning lower costs.

Dr. Halperin said this could be a cheaper alternative to weight loss medications currently on the market, which can cost hundreds of dollars without insurance.

This would also mean that they could be in pill form instead of injections.

Dr. Halperin also said that scientists are working to create a form of gene editing to help the pancreas produce more GLP-1 on its own.

This would involve altering the structure of the body’s own genes so that they learn to produce GLP-1 and eliminate the need for drugs.

She pointed to Massachusetts-based Fractyl Health, which was presenting preclinical results in December.

Fractyl’s treatment, called Rejuva, was found to reduce body weight in rodents by 27 percent.

The company said it plans to start human clinical trials this year.

It also has the potential to last for months or years at a time. For example, CRISPR, a variant of gene-editing therapy recently approved for sickle cell disease, lasts about a year.

Dr. However, Halperin cautioned that it is not clear how long clinical trials and possible FDA approval will take, and that it could be several years before it is available to the public.

Still, she is optimistic about what will happen in the future with anti-obesity drugs.

“It’s really exciting for patients who are obese and need these treatment options,” she said.