The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Mounjaro™ (tirzepatide) injection, Eli Lilly and Company’s new once-weekly GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) and GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) receptor agonist indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes.
Mounjaro has not been studied in patients with a history of pancreatitis and is not indicated for use in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus.
As the first and only FDA-approved GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist, Mounjaro is a single molecule that activates the body’s receptors for GIP and GLP-1, which are natural incretin hormones.
“Mounjaro delivered superior and consistent A1C reductions against all of the comparators throughout the SURPASS program, which was designed to assess Mounjaro’s efficacy and safety in a broad range of adults with type 2 diabetes who could be treated in clinical practice. The approval of Mounjaro is an exciting step forward for people living with type 2 diabetes given the results seen in these clinical trials,” said Juan Pablo Frías, M.D., Medical Director, National Research Institute and Investigator in the SURPASS program.
Mounjaro will be available in six doses (2.5 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 12.5 mg, 15 mg) and will come in Lilly’s well-established auto-injector pen with a pre-attached, hidden needle that patients do not need to handle or see.
The approval was based on results from the phase 3 SURPASS program, which included active comparators of injectable semaglutide 1 mg, insulin glargine and insulin degludec. Efficacy was evaluated for Mounjaro 5 mg, 10 mg and 15 mg used alone or in combination with commonly prescribed diabetes medications, including metformin, SGLT2 inhibitors, sulfonylureas and insulin glargine. Participants in the SURPASS program achieved average A1C reductions between 1.8% and 2.1% for Mounjaro 5 mg and between 1.7% and 2.4% for both Mounjaro 10 mg and Mounjaro 15 mg. While not indicated for weight loss, mean change in body weight was a key secondary endpoint in all SURPASS studies. Participants treated with Mounjaro lost between 12 lb. (5 mg) and 25 lb. (15 mg) on average.
Side effects reported in at least 5% of patients treated with Mounjaro include nausea, diarrhea, decreased appetite, vomiting, constipation, indigestion (dyspepsia), and stomach (abdominal) pain. The labeling for Mounjaro contains a Boxed Warning regarding thyroid C-cell tumors. Mounjaro is contraindicated in patients with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2.
“Lilly has a nearly 100-year heritage of advancing care for people living with diabetes – never settling for current outcomes. We’re not satisfied knowing that half of the more than 30 million Americans living with type 2 diabetes are not reaching their target blood glucose levels,” said Mike Mason, president, Lilly Diabetes. “We are thrilled to introduce Mounjaro, which represents the first new class of type 2 diabetes medication introduced in almost a decade and embodies our mission to bring innovative new therapies to the diabetes community.”
Mounjaro is expected to be available in the United States in the coming weeks.
Tirzepatide is also under regulatory review for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in Europe, Japan and several additional markets.