Category: Our Research

Weight loss treatment in type 2 diabetes

Currently, 4.7 million people in the UK have diabetes, 90% of whom have type 2 diabetes, with development strongly linked with weight gain and obesity (Diabetes UK, 2019). Many existing therapies for type 2 diabetes focus on lowering blood glucose, however there is a major unmet need for treatments that improve both glucose control and achieve disease-modifying weight loss. Weight loss can mediate further improvement in glucose control, cardiovascular risk and mortality rate and may even slow or reverse disease progression.

In 2019, a collaboration between AstraZeneca, the Institute for Metabolic Science and the NIHR Cambridge Clinical Research Facility (CRF) led to an experimental medicine study to find out how a new antidiabetic drug, cotadutide, causes weight loss. Detailed CRF-based studies of energy balance, using our unique metabolic facilities, showed that this agent decreases appetite and energy intake, thereby promoting weight loss.

The Cambridge CRF was selected as a research site because of its specialist infrastructure (whole body indirect calorimetry, diet kitchen, energy intake monitors) and expertise in studies of energy balance (intake and expenditure). In this study, room calorimeters were used to measure energy expenditure accurately over a period of 3 days across 10 visits for each of the 19 participants who completed the study. The CRF also supported the study outside the facility by preparing personalised prescriptive diet plans derived from metabolic rate measurements during the visits.