MUNICH – Lorcaserin is the first weight-loss drug proven to have cardiovascular safety, Erin A. Bohula, MD, DPhil, told Mitchel L. Zoler in an interview.
Dr. Bohula reported on the results of the CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 trial, which was designed to evaluate the cardiovascular safety of the weight-loss drug lorcaserin in more than 10,000 patients. She presented the data at the annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology.
In CAMELLIA-TIMI 61, the primary safety endpoint, a composite of cardiovascular death, MI, or stroke, was nearly identical between patients on lorcaserin and those given placebo, 2% and 2.1% per year, at P less than .001 for noninferiority. Similarly, the primary efficacy outcome comprising heart failure, hospitalization for unstable angina, and coronary revascularization, was very close between the treated and placebo patients, occurring in 4.1% and 4.2% per year, respectively.
In addition, “there was a sustained weight loss, more than with lifestyle alone or lifestyle plus placebo, which at its peak was about 3 kg. With that there were small, but significant, reductions in heart rate, blood pressure, triglycerides, and hemoglobin A1c, and there was a significant reduction in new-onset diabetes.”
“Overall, there’s not a lot of use of pharmacologic agents for weight loss in the United States, and a lot of that is based on fear of the historical experience, which is that they were not safe. I suspect that having a drug that is proven safe will now lead people to reach for a pharmacologic agent like lorcaserin,” said Dr. Bohula, a cardiologist at of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an investigator at the TIMI study group.