The SELECT Study, Led by Pennington Biomedical Researcher Dr. Donna Ryan, Confirms Weight Loss Benefits of Semaglutide Last up to Four Years –

Baton Rouge, LA, May 31, 2024 –(– Semaglutide, the much-acclaimed key ingredient in weight loss drugs Wegovy, Ozempic and Rybelsus, has been shown to deliver benefits that last up to four years and, on average, result in a weight reduction of 10 percent compared to placebos. These extended benefits were observed in data generated through the SELECT study, led by Pennington Biomedical Research Center’s professor emeritus Dr. Donna Ryan.

The SELECT study, or Semaglutide Effects on Heart Disease and Stroke in Patients with Overweight or Obesity, is one of the largest cardiovascular outcome studies in the field of obesity research. The trial studies the effects of semaglutide – a drug originally intended to reduce effects of diabetes – focusing primarily on its effects on major heart disease and strokes versus that of diet and exercise or placebo.

The study researched more than 17,600 participants recruited between 2019 and 2021 who were overweight or obese and who did not have diabetes. Now in its sixth year, the SELECT study continues to yield results demonstrating the multifaceted value of semaglutide.

“Semaglutide continues to demonstrate its potential beyond cosmetic weight loss,” said Dr. Ryan. “Reducing obesity in patients further reduces the occurrence of adverse events, and the effects are widespread, as more than half of study participants have moved down an entire category in the BMI scale. This degree of weight loss in such a large and diverse population suggests that it may be possible to impact the public health burden of multiple obesity-related illnesses.”

In addition to treating diabetes, semaglutide can now be prescribed for weight management for those with obesity or who are overweight. The SELECT study showed in November 2023 that semaglutide delivers a 20 percent reduction in major obesity-related adverse cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks or strokes.

In March 2024, following the results of the SELECT study, the U.S. Food and Drug administration approved semaglutide prescriptions to reduce the occurrences of cardiovascular disease for those with obesity.

“Research continues on semaglutide, but the SELECT study, led by Dr. Donna Ryan, has shed important light on the long-term benefits of the medication,” said Dr. John Kirwan, Executive Director of Pennington Biomedical. “Dr. Ryan’s dedication to the field of obesity research has helped countless patients living with the condition and its related diseases, and she has also expanded the prominence of Pennington Biomedical Research Center through her leadership role in the field of medicine. It is research such as this that sustains and bolsters the Center’s reputational excellence.”

Before becoming professor emeritus, Dr. Ryan oversaw the Clinical Research department at Pennington Biomedical for 25 years. Her primary areas of interest are obesity prevention and treatment, having served as the principal investigator on many notable studies including the Louisiana Obese Subjects Study and the Prevention Obesity Using Novel Dietary Strategies, or POUNDS, study. She served as interim executive director of Pennington Biomedical in 2017.