A new, once-weekly injection for the treatment of type 2 diabetes controls blood sugar levels better than three other widely prescribed diabetes drugs, late-stage clinical trials show.
The drug, dulaglutide, made by Eli Lily and Co., was pitted against the long-used insulin drug metformin, and newer type 2 medications Byetta, made by Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Januvia, made by Merck & Co. Januvia is one of the leaders in diabetes treatment with sales topping $4 billion a year.
Dulaglutide performed better at lowering blood sugar levels compared to metformin, Byetta and Januvia. Patients on dulaglutide also lost twice as much weight as those taking Januvia.
Dulaglutide is in a class of medications known as GLP-1 receptor agonists. These drugs work by increasing the release of insulin after meals and by slowing absorption of food in the gastrointestinal tract. Other drugs in this class include Bydureon and Victoza, as well as Byetta. GLP-1 drugs are grouped into a category of type 2 diabetes drugs known as incretin mimetics, which also includes a class of drugs known as DDP-4 inhibitors, which includes the drug Januvia.
Recent studies have linked incretin mimetics to an increased risk of pancreatic injuries. In particular, Byetta and Januvia have been associated with an increased risk of acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
Source: Huffington Post