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Tirzepatide for treating type 2 diabetes mellitus


Endocrine, Nutritional and Metabolic

February 2021

Tirzepatide is in clinical development for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). T2DM is a lifelong condition that develops when the body becomes resistant to, or does not produce enough insulin – a hormone produced in the pancreas. Insulin is needed to control the amount of sugar in the blood. A lack of insulin, or resistance to insulin in T2DM patients causes blood sugar levels too become too high. If blood sugar remains high over a long period of time this can result in serious complications. For some T2DM patients, existing anti-diabetic medications are ineffective at controlling blood sugar levels. Therefore, there is a need to develop new treatment options that are more effective in reducing blood sugar levels in T2DM patients.
Tirzepatide is a new type of drug that is administered by subcutaneous injection and acts on two proteins known as the gastric inhibitory peptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and results in more insulin being released from the pancreas. Tirzepatide has the potential to improve blood sugar levels and increase weight loss compared to current treatment options. If licenced, tirzepatide will offer an additional treatment option for patients with T2DM.

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