This search function provides links to outputs produced by NIHR Innovation Observatory. These are briefing notes or reports on new or repurposed technologies. This search will not return all technologies currently in development as these outputs are produced as required for our stakeholders.

Innovation Observatory > Reports > Drugs > Tirzepatide for treating type 2 diabetes mellitus

< Back

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.

Innovation Observatory Voice 2

Is Tirzepatide being developed as a possible treatment for T2DM patients who are NOT over weight?
I understand that the majority of people with type 2 diabetes are over weight and hence all the treatments I read about are intended to reduce weight as well as improve blood sugar levels.
I find this very frustrating as I am very much under weight.
I was diagnosed as having type 2 in 2009 and prescribed Metformin (250mg/day). This was increased to 500mg/day in March 2013 when my HbA1c was 49 and my weight was 54Kg.
My HbA1c has remained high even with the addition of Linagliptin and more recently Empaglifozin instead. I did manage to get it down to 47 in 2020 by going on a very low carb diet but this of course led to more weight loss. In early 2021 it was 60 and a few days ago (1st October) it was 53. My weight has varied between 53 and 55Kg over the period 2009 to present day.
My height is 165cm and my age is 79years.
I would very much like a treatment which reduces my blood sugar but allows me to eat sufficient carbs to put on some weight.
Any comments you may have will be appreciated.
Thank you.

Mike Holland - Posted ago

    Hello Mike. Thank you for your comment and interest in NIHRIO. We write these reports with information gathered from the clinical trials and pharmaceutical companies, therefore the way the drug is used is decided by the company. For any specific queries regarding the drug or it’s treatment options please contact the pharmaceutical company.

    Abby Scott - Posted ago

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Comment

Download Full Article


Connect to the Innovation Observatory


Load More Related Posts

Get Alerts