Optimizing Obesity Treatments: 3 Ways to Accelerate Your Program

Authors: Siler SQ

As a nutritional biochemist by training, I am really excited about the effectiveness of current treatments for obese patients—and it extends well beyond weight loss. 

My area of specialization for the past 30 years has been in nutrition and metabolic diseases, and when I was at the beginning of my career in the late 1990s, we never could have imagined drugs as efficacious as the ones currently on the market. Worldwide, there are an estimated 650 million people adults who meet the clinical definition of obese—which means there are 650 million people who could potentially benefit from these therapies. And while many people see current treatments specifically in context of weight loss, the real significance is the positive impact they will have on related issues, such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, and more.  

So what’s the catch? Side effects. Current GLP-1 receptor agonist medications have limitations like nausea and body composition changes that could be improved upon with the next generation of treatments. If you have a drug in development (or are considering acquiring one), here is what you need to be doing to optimize your therapy for success.

Simulate & Predict

Weight loss therapies are in high demand, even with the nausea often experienced by patients. It’s critical that the next generation of weight loss drugs mitigate this side effect—both for patient adherence and market success. 

Many large pharmas are already using quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP) modeling and simulation to predict the efficacy of their drugs—but they have not yet nailed down the nausea component. This is an area that can be predicted and optimized. 

The OBESITYsym model can predict weight loss, changes to body composition, and nausea. It uses a diverse simulated population to mirror real-life clinical data.  

The ability to predict the efficacy of a drug, identify the right dosage, and optimize the therapy to reduce nausea can save time and money when designing clinical trials. It also helps you fail fast with novel compounds that cannot compete.

Compare to Standards of Care

Wouldn’t it be nice to know whether your drug would be more effective than those already on the market before investing in costly clinical trials? 

OBESITYsym has been calibrated to the clinical data describing weight loss and nausea over time from the most popular obesity treatments currently available: semaglutide, liraglutide, and tirzepatide. 

That means by using this model, you can quickly see if your treatment will provide as good or better results regarding weight loss (in both short- and long-term) and if it is less likely to induce a nausea side effect for patients.

Optimize Treatment Paradigms

Treatment protocols should not be overlooked when designing your drug. Especially for weight loss therapies, carefully designing up-titration dosing paradigms can help patients avoid uncomfortable side effects and increase adherence. Additionally, down-titration dosing paradigms should also be considered—unlike previous generations of weight loss drugs, current and future options are so effective that providers will need to monitor for excessive, unhealthy weight loss in some patients. 

Luckily, these titration issues can be simulated with OBESITYsym, allowing you to identify the right dosing and schedule for patients.  

The next wave of obesity treatments will improve efficacy, tolerability, and quality of life for patients around the world. I am really proud of the work we have done developing OBESITYsym to support these efforts.  

If you are involved with developing treatments for obesity and are curious how QSP modeling can help accelerate your program, learn more about OBESITYsym or set up a demo.