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Disappointing results for liraglutide in type 1 diabetes

25 August 2015  •  Author: Victoria White

Novo Nordisk has announced headline results from the second and final Phase 3a trial with liraglutide as adjunct therapy to insulin for people with type 1 diabetes.


ADJUNCT ONE is a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating efficacy and safety of daily doses of 0.6 mg, 1.2 mg and 1.8 mg liraglutide compared with placebo as adjunct to insulin treatment. 1,398 people with type 1 diabetes were treated for 52 weeks.

From a mean baseline HbA1c of around 8.2%, people treated with 1.2 mg and 1.8 mg liraglutide as adjunct to insulin therapy achieved the primary objective of non-inferiority in HbA1c and showed a greater improvement in HbA1c of around 0.5% compared with 0.3% for people treated with placebo. The primary objective of HbA1c non-inferiority was not confirmed for the 0.6 mg dose.

Furthermore, from a mean baseline weight of around 86 kg, people treated with 1.2 mg and 1.8 mg liraglutide as adjunct to insulin therapy achieved a statistically significantly greater weight loss between 3 kg and 4 kg whereas people treated with placebo experienced a weight gain of around 1 kg.

In the trial, the most common adverse events were related to the gastrointestinal system, primarily transient nausea and vomiting. The rate of severe hypoglycaemia appeared numerically, but not statistically significantly lower for all doses of liraglutide as adjunct to insulin therapy compared with placebo. A statistically significant higher rate of confirmed symptomatic hypoglycaemia was observed among people treated with liraglutide 1.2 mg and 1.8 mg compared with people treated with placebo.

Novo Nordisk does not intend to apply to expand the label of liraglutide for use in type 1 diabetes

Based on a risk/benefit assessment of the overall dataset from the two ADJUNCT trials, Novo Nordisk does currently not intend to submit an application to expand the label of Victoza® for use in type 1 diabetes. Novo Nordisk intends to conduct thorough analyses to evaluate the clinical data and define potential future clinical and regulatory initiatives. Liraglutide is approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

“The results of the two ADJUNCT trials show that liraglutide as adjunct to insulin therapy met the primary end-point of improving blood glucose control for people with type 1 diabetes, however, unfortunately without the hypoglycaemic benefit experienced in type 2 diabetes ” said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief science officer of Novo Nordisk. “We are disappointed as we believed in the potential to provide people with type 1 diabetes with a new treatment option, and we will continue to invest in new treatment options for this group of people.”

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