Novo Nordisk recently announced results from its LEAD 6 study showing that once daily liraglutide was significantly more effective at improving blood glucose control (as measured by A1c) than exenatide, a GLP-1 mimetic administered twice daily.
Liraglutide works by stimulating the release of insulin and inhibiting the release of glucagon from the liver after meals only if blood glucose levels are elevated.
“In this study, reduction in blood glucose was greater with liraglutide than with exenatide” said Lawrence Blonde, MD, Director of the Ochsner Diabetes Clinical Research Unit in the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at the Oxford Center in New Orleans. “Patients treated with once daily liraglutide achieved better blood glucose control and also had less minor hypoglycemia than those treated with exenatide.”
The 26-week study included 464 people with type 2 diabetes who were randomized to treatment with either liraglutide, 1.8 mg once daily, or exenatide, 10 µg twice daily, both as an add-on to their existing treatment consisting of metformin and/or a sulfonylurea.
Nausea was the most common side effect for both treatments and was reported at a level of 25.5% in the liraglutide group and 28% in exenatide group (percent of all study participants reporting nausea at least once). However, according to the Novo Nordisk press release, in the liraglutide group, the percentage of patients reporting nausea fell each week fell to just 3% after 26 weeks. In the exenatide group, reports of nausea remained above 10% for more than 20 weeks.
Other common gastrointestinal-related adverse events with liraglutide were diarrhea, vomiting, and dyspepsia.
Weight loss with liraglutide is attributed to the fact that it slows gastric emptying and leads to increased satiety after meals. Liraglutide is naturally broken down in the body and does not require renal excretion.
Source: Novo Nordisk