New results from a Phase IIIa study have demonstrated that Novo Nordisk’s weight loss drug semaglutide improved physical function and wellbeing among people with obesity.

The STEP 1 trial demonstrated benefits for people with obesity treated with semaglutide 2.4mg ‘beyond weight loss’, Novo said in a statement.

Over a 68-week period, treatment with once-weekly semaglutide 2.4mg was associated with greater improvements for all weight- and health-related quality of life scores in people with obesity or overweight in comparison to placebo.

This included improved wellbeing, with 43.8% of patients treated with Novo’s drug achieving a clinically meaningful improvement in total weight-related quality of life score at week 68.

On top of that, 51.2% of participants treated with semaglutide 2.4mg in the trial had an increased weight-related physical function score, reflecting improvements in the ability to perform daily activities.

In addition, patients treated with semaglutide 2.4mg ‘simultaneously’ experienced significant weight loss of 14.9% over more than a year.

The safety profile for semaglutide 2.4mg is ‘in line’ with previous observations seen with glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, with the most common adverse events being gastrointestinal events.

“I am really proud of these results. Obesity is not only about the weight itself; living with this chronic disease affects all aspects of a person’s life such as not being able to climb stairs or move around as part of one’s daily routines,” said Martin Holst Lange, executive vice president, development at Novo Nordisk.

“This has implications both for physical and mental health. This study shows that treatment with semaglutide 2.4 mg improves mental and physical wellbeing. It holds real potential to improve the lives of people living with obesity,” he added.