Skip to Content

Anti-Obesity Medications in the Pipeline: Phase-3 Clinical Trial

October 5, 2023

While Wegovy® (semaglutide 2.4 mg) has become a popular weight loss medication since its approval and launch, pharmaceutical companies are continuing to develop and study other agents aiming for even greater average weight loss and a greater proportion of patients achieving >10%, >15%, and even >25% weight loss. Also studied are the diabetes and cardiovascular outcomes of these medications, as well as their safety and tolerability.

The UPMC Divisions of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Minimally Invasive Bariatric and General Surgery, and Cardiology are collaborating as a site for TRIUMPH-3. This phase-3 multinational multi-site trial will evaluate the weight loss and cardiovascular event outcomes of Retatrutide, a triple agonist, stimulating the GLP-1, GIP, and Glucagon receptors as a weekly subcutaneous injection.

Clinical experts from the Divisions include:

  • Erin E. Kershaw, MD (Endocrinology), PI
  • David Rometo, MD (Endocrinology), Co-I
  • Nikola Gligorijevic, MD (Endocrinology), Co-I
  • Anita Sarif, MD (Cardiology), Co-I
  • Anita Courcoulos, MD (Bariatric Surgery), Co-I

Subjects with a BMI of at least 35 kg/m2 and a history of a myocardial infarct, stroke, or peripheral arterial disease will be included and enrolled in a lifestyle weight loss intervention while receiving Retatrutide or placebo for up to 80 weeks. These types of trials are essential to bring a potential therapy to FDA approval and to market, and to inform providers of the expected range of effects and side effects, namely whether a new therapy increases, decreases, or has no effect on risk of MI and stroke.

This research also assists the university and medical center in training researchers and clinicians. UPMC plans to continue to play an important role in these trials for other medications currently in development for obesity.