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Science Has Named GLP-1 Drugs the Breakthrough of the Year

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2023 has changed the way we treat obesity. A new class of drugs, mimicking a gut hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), is reshaping medicine and improving many people’s lives globally. GLP-1 drugs do not only induce significant weight loss, but they also have beneficial effects on blood glucose levels and blood pressure, therefore reducing the risk of diabetes and heart diseases. According to Science magazine, this makes GLP-1 drugs the “Breakthrough of the Year”.

Helmholtz Munich CEO Is One of the Leading Minds Behind the “Blockbuster Weight Loss Drug”

Already in his early scientific career, Helmholtz Munich CEO Prof. Matthias Tschöp was convinced that the key to regulating appetite was in the brain and that changing the metabolic balance in the brain and achieving a healthy body weight requires more than one signal. After many years of research, he and his colleagues found several gut hormones that fulfilled the necessary demands – among them: the glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), which in combination with GLP-1 even leads to greater weight loss as GLP-1 alone. This is how the idea of groundbreaking multi-receptor drugs like the GIP:GLP-1 co-agonist Tirzepatide was born.

Obesity Drugs of the Future – Efficient and Personalized

Helmholtz Munich teams around Dr. Timo Müller (Institute for Diabetes and Obesity) and Prof. Matthias Blüher (Helmholtz Institute for Metabolic, Obesity and Vascular Research), are continuously working on better understanding the molecular mechanisms of the new drugs and improving them – for shorter instead of life-long treatments and for a more personalized approach, targeting the specific needs of a single patient.

Learn more about Matthias Tschöp’s journey and scientific breakthroughs: Reversing Obesity with Multi-Receptor Drugs

Read the full Science article about the Breakthrough of the Year.