Recent advances in peptide-based therapies for obesity and type 2 diabetes

Clifford J Bailey, Peter R Flatt, J Michael Conlon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Options for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and obesity have recently been expanded by the results of several large clinical trials with incretin-based peptide therapies. Most of these studies have been conducted with the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist semaglutide, which is available as a once weekly subcutaneous injection and once daily tablet, and the once weekly injected dual agonist tirzepatide, which interacts with receptors for GLP-1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). In individuals with T2DM these therapies have achieved reductions of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) by > 2% and lowered body weight by > 10%. In some studies, these agents tested in non-diabetic, obese individuals at much higher doses have lowered body weight by > 15%. Emerging evidence suggests these agents can also offer cardio-protective and potentially reno-protective effects. Other incretin-based peptide therapies in early clinical development, notably a triple GLP-1/GIP/glucagon receptor agonist (retatrutide) and a combination of semaglutide with the amylin analogue cagrilintide (CagriSema), have shown strong efficacy. Although incretin therapies can incur adverse gastrointestinal effects these are for most patients mild-to-moderate and transient but result in cessation of treatment in some cases. Thus, the efficacy of new incretin-based peptide therapies is enhancing the opportunity to control body weight and blood glucose and improve the treatment of T2DM and obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number171149
Early online date5 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

© 2024 The Authors. CC BY 4.0


  • Cagrilintide
  • Incretin
  • Multi-agonist
  • Retatrutide
  • Semaglutide
  • Tirzepatide


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