Study – New long lasting insulin drug need injection only thrice a week

Type-1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and affects 1 in every 400 children and adolescents, according to American Diabetes Association. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, which is necessary for the body to use glucose for energy. Some patients, therefore, require daily insulin injections to keep their blood sugar under check.  A preliminary study reports that a drug degludec has potential in reducing the daily requirement of insulin injection in type 1 diabetes patients. The drug provides similar effects if given thrice a week, instead of daily.

About the study
The study presented the results of phase II trials of the drug degludec. The study is funded by Novo Nordisk, a manufacturer of degludec and published in The Lancet.

For the study, 245 adults with diabetes (HbA1c levels of between 7% and 11%) were randomly assigned to receive the oral drug metformin and one of three treatment regimens: degludec insulin once a day, degludec three times a week, or Lantus once a day for 16 weeks.

Lantus (glargine ) is the most widely used long-acting insulin, manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis.

Results of the study
Patients who took degludec by injection three times a week had-

  • Controlled blood sugar level as effective as daily injections of Lantus
  • Similar reductions in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) compared to daily injections of Lantus.
  • Rates of hypoglycemia were low in all treatment groups, but they were lowest in the patients who took degludec once a day.

Dr. Yogish C. Kudva and Dr. Ananda...

Basu, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA, says:

“Doses given three times a week might improve adherence, improve glycaemic control without an increase in hypoglycaemia, and cause less disruption to the patient’s lifestyle. The presumption here is if you use a medication less frequently, then people are more likely to take it and remember it, especially as we multitask and try to do so many things every day.”

Professor Bernard Zinman, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, ON, Canada comments:

“Because of its ultra-long action profile, insulin degludec injected three times weekly appears to provide similar glucose control to insulin glargine once daily. This new basal insulin analogue might be a valuable addition to clinical practice…However the safety, efficacy, and optimum use of treatment regimens for insulin degludec will need to be established in larger phase 3 trials.”

The drug has completed phase II trial and its findings still need to be confirmed in another phase of research. Yet, the drug looks promising but it’s not clear how much the drug would cost if it was approved for the use.

Stay tuned for more information on latest researches.


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