Tirzepatide offers indication-leading reductions in weight loss and improvements in glycemic control in a growing patient population, which has the potential to reduce the incidence of T2DM-related complications.
A treatment that can more effectively address weight loss and glycemic control is of great interest. Tirzepatide will likely be prescribed for T2DM patients being acceptably managed with another drug or new patients who would benefit from weight loss.
How will tirzepatide impact the market for type 2 diabetes?
What gaps in treatment does tirzepatide fill?
Reducing body weight has become a focal point in T2DM management. Several antidiabetic agent classes are associated with no weight changes or even weight gain; only a handful offer weight loss. The net reduction provided by current agents is limited. With the promising results for both weight loss (clinically significant 15% weight loss) and glycemic control to date, tirzepatide could help delay disease progression and therefore the transition to insulin-based treatment.
What hurdles might it need to overcome to reach blockbuster status?
One concern in phase 2 trials was the large number of patients discontinuing tirzepatide because of gastrointestinal side effects; however, these subsided after time. Barriers to uptake, especially for patients who require less weight loss or glycemic control, could include the need for titration, availability of SGLT-2 inhibitors in generic formulations, competition from nearly as efficacious GLP-1 receptor inhibitors such as OZEMPIC® and RYBELSUS® and the high cost of tirzepatide.
“It has amazing data regarding bigger HbA1c reductions and bigger reductions in weight, so it’s potentially a game-changer. It will need cardiovascular data since all the other drugs will have cardiovascular data, but it’s really promising.”
– Source: Cortellis Competitive Intelligence, Drug Timeline & Success Rate prediction current as of December 15, 2021