Once weekly diabetes treatment promising in first Phase III trial

A new long-acting incretin mimetic under development for adjunctive therapy of type II diabetes has met its primary end point in a Phase III study.

Taspoglutide, like other GLP-1 analogues, is administered by subcutaneous injection.

Taspoglutide, which was discovered by Ipsen and subsequently licensed to Roche, is an analogue of glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1). This incretin hormone lowers blood glucose levels by regulating the secretion of insulin and glucagon.

Unlike the two currently approved GLP-1 analogues liraglutide (Victoza) and exenatide (Byetta), which must be given daily, taspoglutide is a weekly treatment.

The open-label T-EMERGE 2 trial tested weekly taspoglutide injections against twice daily injections of exenatide in 1189 patients with poor glycaemic control despite receiving metformin and/or a glitazone.

After 24 weeks, participants who were randomised to receive add-on treatment with taspoglutide exhibited a greater reduction in glycated haemoglobin level than those who were randomised to receive add-on therapy with exenatide.

Taspoglutide was generally well tolerated. Nausea and vomiting were the most commonly reported adverse events.

Roche plans to test taspoglutide in a total of 8 Phase III trials in more than 6000 patients.

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