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Significant weight loss and blood sugar control seen in patients with type 2 diabetes following new medication combination

An international team, including the Director of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), that studied the combined effects of semaglutide with cagrilintide (CagriSema) in people with type 2 diabetes, has revealed that CagriSema resulted in significant weight loss, as well as clinically relevant improvements in blood sugar control.
Professor Melanie Davies CBE
Portrait of Professor Melanie Davies CBE

The study, published in The Lancet in June 2023 found that treatment with CagriSema resulted in significantly greater weight loss than either semaglutide or cagrilintide alone.   

A mean reduction in bodyweight of 15.6% in 32 weeks was seen in those given the new combination, CagriSema, compared to 5% weight reduction in the same timeframe as those given semaglutide alone.    

The trial took place across 17 sites in the USA in 2021. 92 participants with type 2 diabetes, who had an average age of 58, were given either cagrilintide, semaglutide or the combined CagriSema once a week.      

The participants’ HbA1c and bodyweight at the end of the trial were compared to their levels at the start.      

The haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test measures the amount of blood sugar (glucose) attached to haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. It is an important blood test that gives a good indication of how well diabetes is being controlled.    

Professor of Diabetes Medicine, Melanie Davies, who is the Director of the NIHR Leicester BRC and NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre, Leicester, said: “We wanted to better understand the impact of combining semaglutide with cagrilintide (CagriSema) on blood sugar control and weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes, and so compared the effects to semaglutide and cagrilintide alone.    

“We were very pleased to see that, in people with type 2 diabetes, treatment with CagriSema resulted in clinically relevant improvements in blood sugar levels control.    

“And, excitingly we saw that treatment with this new combination, CagriSema also resulted in significantly greater weight loss compared to either semaglutide or cagrilintide alone, and was well tolerated by participants in the study.      

“This supports further investigation of CagriSema in longer and larger phase 3 studies and in more diverse populations, which are open and recruiting participants in Leicester.” 

The phase 3 trials are investigating the efficacy and safety of CagriSema in participants with type 2 diabetes who are overweight or living with obesity (BMI over 27), and the cardiovascular safety in participants with obesity (BMI over 30) and established cardiovascular (heart) disease.  

These studies are being delivered in the five NIHR Patient Recruitment Centres (PRCs) located throughout England. Further information is available on the following website: www.redefine3.org.uk.

The paper ‘Efficacy and safety of co-administered once-weekly cagrilintide 2•4 mg with once-weekly semaglutide 2•4 mg in type 2 diabetes: a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, active-controlled, phase 2 trial’ was published in The Lancet on 23 June 2023.


Joanna Jones, science communications manager, researchcomm@uhl-tr.nhs.uk