The diabetes drug Ozempic (semaglutide) could potentially enhance weight loss in overweight and obese patients without diabetes, according to a study recently published in JAMA and The New England Journal of Medicine.

In December, Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO) submitted a new drug application to the FDA for a 2.4-mg dose of subcutaneous semaglutide for chronic weight management.

The drug won FDA approval to manage type 2 diabetes in 2017

The 68-week randomized Phase 3a study involved 611 patients. At the end of the period, patients given weekly semaglutide lost 16% of their body weight while the placebo group lost 5.7%.

Participants in the trial received physical activity counseling. At the beginning of the trial, they received an eight-week meal replacement diet of 1000 to 1200 calories per day.

Some 3.4% of semaglutide recipients had gastrointestinal adverse events, and treatment for them was discontinued.

The study was conducted from August 2018 to April 2020.

Some 42.4% of Americans are obese, while more than two-thirds are either overweight or obese.