Two Popular Diabetes Drugs Outperformed Others in Large-Scale Clinical Trial – The Observer

Two Popular Diabetes Drugs Outperformed Others in Massive Clinical Trial

Posted 9:48 a.m. on Saturday, October 8, 2022

Pennington Biomedical Research Center researchers contributed to the first study comparing commonly used drugs for type 2 diabetes

BATON ROUGE, La. – In a large clinical trial directly comparing four drugs commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes, researchers found that insulin glargine and liraglutide were the best of four medications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to keep blood sugar levels within the recommended range. Managing blood sugar is a key part of maintaining good health for people with type 2 diabetes. The four drugs evaluated were added to treatment with metformin, which is the first-line drug to treat type 2 diabetes The trial, based in part at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)a branch of National Institutes of Health.

More than 37 million Americans have diabetes, and about 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes. People with diabetes who keep their blood sugar levels within a near-normal range generally have a much higher risk low to develop diabetes complications such as nerve, kidney and eye diseases. Diabetes is difficult to treat because most people need more than one drug to control their blood sugar over time.

Although there is a general consensus among healthcare professionals that metformin plus diet and exercise is the best early approach in diabetes care, there is no consensus. on the next best step to take to control high blood sugar.

Daniel Hsia, MD, an associate professor at Pennington Biomedical, served as the site’s principal investigator for the study. “GRADE provides physicians with essential information from real-world comparisons of four commonly used drugs when added to metformin to treat type 2 diabetes. Some drugs may work better for some patients based on their own unique characteristics. This study helps us move closer to the goal of providing our patients with precision diabetes care.

After an average of four years of follow-up, the study found that participants taking metformin plus liraglutide or insulin glargine reached and maintained their target blood levels for the longest time compared to sitagliptin or glimepiride. . This translated to about six months longer with blood sugar levels in the target range compared to sitagliptin, which was the least effective in maintaining target levels. Treatment effects did not differ by age, sex, race or ethnicity.

However, none of the combinations overwhelmingly outperformed the others. Although average blood sugar decreased over the course of the study, nearly three-quarters of all participants were unable to maintain the four-year blood sugar goal, underscoring the difficulty of maintaining recommended goals. in many patients with type 2 diabetes.

“There is still a lot of work to do. We need to look at the effect of new drugs that have not been tested in GRADE, and we need to go beyond just looking at blood sugar levels, but also improving longer-term outcomes such as decrease in diabetes-related complications,” Hsia said.

The study also looked at the effects of treatments on the development of diabetes-related cardiovascular disease. The researchers found that participants in the liraglutide group were the least likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease overall compared to the other groups.

The study also looked at side effects of the drugs, finding:

  • Severe hypoglycaemia, often called hypoglycaemia reaction, was generally uncommon but affected more participants on glimepiride (2.2%).
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms were more frequent with liraglutide than with the other three treatment groups.

Additionally, on average, participants in all treatment groups lost weight. Over four years, people in the liraglutide and sitagliptin arms lost more weight (an average of 7 and 4 pounds, respectively) than the glargine and glimepiride arms (less than 2 pounds).

Pennington Biomedical’s Executive Director, John Kirwan, PhD, noted that this study expands Pennington Biomedical’s important role in developing new treatments for diabetes and caring for patients with diabetes. “Pennington Biomedical has long been sought after for its ability to conduct clinical trials that test the effectiveness of drugs for obesity and diabetes, as well as many other interventions and therapies such as behavioral and surgical interventions. It is important that we can offer our local residents the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research and be represented in studies that ultimately impact the lives of patients,” he said. declared.

The GRADE study was supported by a grant from the NIDDK (U01DK098246). Additional support was provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institute of General Medical Sciences; National Center for the Advancement of Translational Sciences; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the American Diabetes Association. The Department of Veterans Affairs provided the resources and facilities. Material support in the form of drug and supply donations was provided by Becton, Dickinson and Company, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck & Co., Inc., Novo Nordisk, Roche Diagnostics and Sanofi. number: NCT01794143.

About LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center

The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery in understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. The Center designed theObecity, United States» Awareness and advocacy campaign to help solve the obesity epidemic by 2040. The Center conducts basic, clinical, and demographic research and is affiliated with Louisiana State University. Pennington Biomedical’s research organization comprises more than 480 employees within a network of 40 clinics and research laboratories, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Its scientists and physicians/scientists are supported by research trainees, laboratory technicians, nurses, dietitians and other support staff. Pennington Biomedical is located in state-of-the-art research facilities on a 222-acre campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For more information, see

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