A new study confirms that treatment with bimagrumab, an antibody that blocks activin type 2 receptors and stimulates skeletal muscle growth, is safe and effective in treating excessive obesity and metabolic disorders in adult patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes is.

“These exciting results suggest that there may be a novel mechanism for achieving weight loss with severe loss of body fat and gain in muscle mass, as well as other metabolic benefits,” study author Steve Heymsfield, MD, FTOS, said in a press release.

For the study, 75 patients with type 2 diabetes, a body mass index between 28 and 40 and glycated hemoglobin A1c levels between 6.5% and 10% were selected for the randomized clinical phase 2 study. Patients were injected with either bimagrumab or placebo every 4 weeks for 48 weeks, with both groups receiving diet and exercise counseling. According to the study’s authors, the study was conducted from February 2017 to May 2019 at 9 locations in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The researchers found a decrease in body fat of about 21% in the bimagrumab group compared to 0.5% in the placebo group. In addition, the results also showed that the bimagrumab group gained 3.6% of lean mass compared to a 0.8% loss in the placebo group. The combined loss in total body fat and gain in muscle mass resulted in a net weight loss of 6.5% in patients receiving bimagrumab compared to a weight loss of 0.8% in their peers who received the placebo.

Limitations of the study included participant sample size and gender imbalance between groups, with more women randomly receiving bimagrumab and more men receiving placebo.

Drugs show promise for weight loss in those with obesity and diabetes. EurekAlert! https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-01/tos-msp011221.php. Published January 13, 2021. Accessed January 14, 2021.