Eli Lilly has reportedly commenced Phase III clinical trials of oral medication, orforglipron, for weight loss in India.  

The oral drug is designed to provide an alternative to injectable weight-loss treatments specifically for patients with Type 2 diabetes as well as obesity or overweight with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.  

According to Lokmat Times, the latest trials, which involve a total of 120 participants located across 12 sites in the country, aim to evaluate the safety and efficacy of orforglipron against insulin glargine. 

Prior to the Phase III trials, the preliminary Phase II research showed that orforglipron, when administered orally once daily, could offer weight-loss results on par with available injectable options such as Wegovy (semaglutide) or Novo Nordisk‘s Saxenda (liraglutide).  

The report highlighted that oral semaglutide forms, for instance Rybelsus, are already available in the Indian market and can be used for treating Type 2 diabetes. 

However, injectables like Ozempic/Wegovy and Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro/Zepbound, which are known for superior weight-loss outcomes, are not yet accessible in the Indian market, mainly due to the associated regulatory processes and ongoing clinical trials.  

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Lokmat Times also quoted Eli Lilly global CEO David Ricks, who highlighted the potential of orforglipron, particularly in India, where obesity is a significant health concern.  

The drug’s success could address the supply constraints affecting injectable weight-loss drugs.  

Besides, medical professionals expect orforglipron to improve patient adherence due to its oral form, which is seen as a more convenient option to injections. 

As per the media reports, the latest move comes as Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk vie for a significant portion of the global anti-obesity drug market, which is projected to surpass $100bn by 2030.