ICON plc conducted an industry survey of over 100 professionals engaged in obesity-related clinical research, revealing expectations for the future of obesity therapies and current research trends. The survey found that:
1. Most respondents believe that obesity therapy trials should measure multiple outcomes due to the overlap between obesity and comorbidities such as diabetes, steatosis (fatty liver), and cardiovascular disease.
2. A majority (64%) feel that combination therapies will be a primary focus for future research in obesity, reflecting the complex nature of the condition and its associated comorbidities.
3. Respondents are keen on employing multi-indication studies within their current obesity clinical trials, which helps address the condition holistically.
4. Two-thirds (66%) are confident about the prospects of their obesity-related pipeline succeeding in the current market, indicating optimism about upcoming treatment possibilities.
Despite their positive outlook, research professionals also highlighted some challenges, including:
1. The absence of long-term follow-up studies, which are critical for observing the sustained impact of potential treatments.
2. A need for trial designs that are specifically tailored to obesity.
3. The difficulty of recruiting a diverse patient population into obesity-related studies.
Simon Bruce, ICON’s VP of Internal Medicine, pointed out the increasing effort to simultaneously develop assets that address obesity and its related comorbidities, aiming to create more efficacious and efficient treatments.
Jack Martin, Senior Director of Cardiovascular Therapeutics at ICON, emphasized the importance of considering obesity’s related comorbidities in clinical trial designs. The survey indicates that breakthroughs in obesity treatment are expected by both drug and device development sectors, showcasing optimism for future therapeutic advancements.
The survey also underscores a growing need for long-term clinical data in commercializing obesity treatments, which is not only crucial from a safety perspective but also for evaluating the impact of obesity drugs on long-term comorbidities.
With more than 1,000 active clinical trials involving obesity drugs ranging from pre-clinical to phase III studies, it highlights the significant ongoing research efforts aimed at combating this growing global health issue.