Survey of over 100 industry professionals measured opinions on future research within the therapeutic area of obesity treatment.
ICON has announced the results of a survey including responses from over 100 industry professionals on obesity-related clinical research, according to a company press release.1
The majority of respondents agreed that the future of obesity clinical research lies within designing trials that are designed to measure multiple outcomes. Obesity is closely related to comorbidities such as diabetes, steatosis (fatty liver), and cardiovascular disease, making the therapeutic area a viable candidate for the research of combination therapies, according to the survey. More than half of the respondents felt combination therapies will prove to be the future of obesity research.
According to Trust for America’s Health, 41.9% of adults in the United States have obesity. Along with adults, rates among children and adolescents have increased with nearly 20% of US children ages 2 to 19 years having obesity.2
In the press release, Simon Bruce, VP of internal medicine at ICON said, “The focus on combination therapies cited by respondents is, in our view, indicative of the potential to make significant advancements in obesity clinical research in the coming years. There is more to examine on the implications of obesity as a risk factor across the disease spectrum and how it may impact treatment, drug development and clinical trials for obesity. We are seeing a growing interest in the simultaneous development of assets. This is something we are actively exploring at ICON in order to improve efficiencies, and to support more treatments to better meet the needs of the current population.”
While two-thirds of survey respondents were confident in their pipeline for obesity treatments in the current market, there was acknowledgement of challenges in the space. Some of the most notable challenges they are seeing in clinical studies include current lack of long-term follow-up studies, lack of appropriate obesity-specific trial design, and difficulty in diverse patient recruitment.
In the press release, Jack Martin, senior director, cardiovascular therapeutics at ICON, commented on the recent advances in the development of obesity-related treatments: “It has shone a light on the future potential of obesity treatment. The findings in this survey are constructive in identifying areas that we can focus on to continue these advancements. What’s clear is that taking a holistic view of the disease and its related co-morbidities—from diabetes to MASH and cardiac conditions—is a hugely important consideration for the clinical trial design of potential new treatments.”