Another surgical robotics CEO says GLP-1s could boost bariatric surgeries

Levita Magnetics founder, CEO and President Dr. Alberto Rodriguez-Navarro [Photo courtesy of Levita Magnetics]

The rise of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) weight loss drugs will likely increase demand for bariatric surgeries in the long run, according to Levita Magnetics founder, CEO and President Dr. Alberto Rodriguez-Navarro.

He’s the latest CEO of a surgical robotics developer to weigh in on how these novel drugs could affect demand for bariatric procedures and the wave of robotic systems being launched to perform them.

In an interview with Medical Design & Outsourcing, Rodriguez-Navarro says he views GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy in the same way as previous advances like intragastric balloons that were hailed as obesity solutions.

“Down the line, you stop using those treatments and the people regain the weight, because obesity’s a multifactorial, very complex diseas…

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How Medtronic evaluates its exposure to GLP-1 drugs

Medtronic Chief Scientific, Medical and Regulatory Officer Dr. Laura Mauri drills into GLP-1 drug trial results to estimate their impact across the portfolio.

“We’ve done all the analysis” on GLP-1 drugs across Medtronic’s portfolio, said CEO and Chair Geoff Martha. [Photo courtesy of Medtronic]

The impact of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy on medtech manufacturing is one of the biggest uncertainties heading into 2024.

Industry leaders like Medtronic, Stryker and Intuitive have faced questions from investors about whether these weight loss drugs will reduce demand for certain medical devices and procedures.

Despite a portfolio spanning some of the fields that would seem likely to be affected — such as cardiovascular, diabetes, surgical and neurovascular — Medtronic Chair and CEO Geoff Martha recently said the drugs won’t impact his company’…

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Medtronic weighs in on GLP-1 impact for device manufacturers

Medtronic CEO and Chair Geoff Martha [Photo courtesy of Medtronic]

Medtronic is the latest — and largest — device manufacturer to weigh in on GLP-1 weight loss drugs and how they could affect demand for medical devices.

Medtronic Chair and CEO Geoff Martha today said the world’s largest medical device company doesn’t expect GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy to take a big bite out of its business.

While Medtronic said the drugs have had a “modest impact” on the bariatric surgery market, Medtronic thinks that is only temporary. The rate of decline in Medtronic’s bariatric business has already stabilized, Martha said on the company’s second-quarter earnings call, adding, “I think we see that coming back in the coming year.”

“We feel strongly that we don’t see these drugs impacting Medtronic’s growth, medium …

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Lilly publishes promising phase 2 trial data for retatrutide, a potential obesity therapy

Lilly has announced promising data from its NCT 04881760 phase 2 study of retatrutide, a potential obesity drug. The drug candidate, a single peptide with agonist activity at the glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), GLP-1 and glucagon receptors, was associated with significant weight loss, improved glycemic control and cardiovascular health.

At 24 weeks, retatrutide (1 mg, 4 mg, 8 mg or 12 mg) met the primary endpoint for efficacy in participants with obesity or overweight without diabetes. Participants had a mean weight reduction of up to 17.5% (41.2 lb) at 24 weeks. That figure increased to 24.2% at 48 weeks.

The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study enrolled 338 adults with obesity or overweight and related health conditions to assess the drug’s efficacy, side effects, and safety. Data from that study were published in NEJM.

Lancet recently published data from the separate phase 2 NCT04867785 study on  retatrutide, in…

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Tirzepatide versus semaglutide: Which contender will prevail in the battle against obesity and type 2 diabetes?

Eli Lilly‘s (NYSE:LLY) tirzepatide achieved up to 15.7% weight loss in the SURMOUNT-2 study, sparking a potential tirzepatide vs semaglutide competition in the obesity and type 2 diabetes treatment markets. The phase 3 study enrolled 938 participants with diverse backgrounds.

Tirzepatide promises to be a megablockbuster with a number of analysts pegging peak annual sales hitting $25 billion. Few drugs have surpassed the $20 billion threshold. One notable example is AbbVie’s monoclonal antibody Humira (adalimumab), which hit $21.2 billion in sales in 2022 and $20.7 billion a year earlier. The drug was the world’s bestseller until the COVID-19 pandemic stoked demand for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, whose cumulative annual sales hit $59.1 billion in 2021.

Lilly has signaled its plans to submit tirzepatide to the FDA, potentially leading to competition between tirzepatide and semaglutide in the obesity and type 2 diabetes treatment markets.

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Semaglutide shows promise for weight loss maintenance 

Signs are growing that the diabetes drug Ozempic (semaglutide) from Novo Nordisk can support weight loss in overweight and obese individuals.

A recent JAMA study involving overweight and obese individuals gave recipients a 2.4-mg subcutaneous dose of semaglutide once weekly for 20 weeks. After that period, investigators continued administering the drug to half of the participants while giving the placebo to the remainder for an additional 48 weeks.

The group that continued to receive semaglutide lost an average of 7.9% of their body weight from week 20 to week 68. By contrast, placebo recipients gained 6.9% of their body weight in the same time frame.

Complicating matters were gastrointestinal side effects, reported in 49.1% of participants who continued to receive subcutaneous semaglutide. A total of 26.1% of placebo recipients also reported gastrointestinal side effects.

The study authors conclude that semaglutide supports weight loss by improvi…

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