Virta Health Announces First-of-its-Kind Peer-Reviewed Study Proving Its Approach Is an Effective Off-Ramp From GLP-1s for Sustained Weight Loss

Published on 
February 29, 2024
March 4, 2024

Company builds on nearly 10 years of GLP-1 experience, expanding its Sustainable Weight Loss solution to deliver medication-free and medication-assisted weight loss

Virta Health has released first-of-its-kind, peer-reviewed data demonstrating the company’s approach to personalized nutrition therapy results in sustained weight loss after the discontinuation of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1s), including Ozempic. Published today in Diabetes Therapy, the data demonstrates Virta is a powerful and sustainable off-ramp from GLP-1s.

These outcomes stand in stark contrast to other real-world results of GLP-1 weight loss treatments. Discontinuing the medications has been shown to lead to rapid worsening of blood sugar and weight regain, even when accompanied by physical activity and calorie restriction. Additionally, as many as two out of three people on GLP-1s stop within a year and quickly regain the weight they lost, underscoring the need for an effective medication-free alternative and off-ramp from the medications to achieve sustainable results.

The study assessed weight loss in two groups of Virta members with type 2 diabetes: those for whom (a) GLP-1s were fully deprescribed and (b) GLP-1s were continued. At one year follow-up, both groups achieved significant and sustained improvement in weight loss, with no differences between the groups. For those eliminating GLP-1 use, there was no change or regain in body weight, a result previously unheard of.

Virta’s prior clinical trials and real-world outcomes showed significant and sustained weight loss through a medication-free approach, demonstrating members who never started on GLP-1s were able to achieve and sustain similar weight loss to those who received GLP-1 therapy. These results, combined with today’s findings in Diabetes Therapy, demonstrate the company’s approach to personalized nutrition therapy serves as both a powerful alternative to and off-ramp from GLP-1s.

Wilding JPH, et al. N Engl J Med. 2021 Mar 18;384(11):989-1002. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2032183.Note: Participants in the STEP-1 trial were patients with obesity. Patients included in Virta’s cohort are patients with type 2 diabetes.Pi-Sunyer X, et al. N Engl J Med 2015; 373:11-22. dOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1411892Kubota M, et al. Cureus 2023; 15(10): 446490. doi:10.7759/cureus.46490

Following GLP-1 deprescription, weight did not significantly increase at 6 or 12 months post deprescription, compared to many well-known drug trials (in red) where patients regain up to 2/3rds of weight loss after discontinuing the drug.

“GLP-1 drugs are not a long-term or silver bullet solution to America’s obesity crisis. In addition to their numerous side effects, they can cost anywhere from $900 to $1,300 per month, and are only effective if taken continuously over a lifetime,” said Sami Inkinen, co-founder and CEO of Virta Health. “Many companies claim their solutions can be used to maintain weight loss, but Virta is the first and only to provide data proving we can deliver drug-like impact without the drugs, and through provider-led personalized nutrition. Our approach – which is built on a decade of experience working with and without GLP-1’s to reverse type 2 diabetes – enables members to lose weight sustainably and maintain their results."

In line with these new findings, Virta announced the expansion of its Sustainable Weight Loss solution, a comprehensive approach to weight loss that enables employers and payers to offer responsible and individualized use of GLP-1s. The new features will include personalized journeys, providing members with safe and responsible access to the medications, as well as individualized nutrition plans. Virta will also place its fees at risk for all customers, regardless of the members’ individual journey, with performance targets connected to deprescription of GLP-1’s, as well as sustained weight loss after deprescription.

Members can achieve clinical weight loss without the use of medications, or with medications in combination with Virta’s personalized nutrition therapy. Members can also decide they don’t want to be on GLP-1s long term and use Virta as a safe and sustainable off-ramp to the drugs while maintaining a healthy weight.

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