THE ROLE OF GLP-1 MIMETICS AND BASAL INSULIN ANALOGUES IN TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS: GUIDANCE FROM STUDIES OF LIRAGLUTIDE.
Author(s): Barnett AH
Affiliation(s): BioMedical Research Centre, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK.
Publication date & source: 2011-11-03, Diabetes Obes Metab., [Epub ahead of print]
In people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), the incretin effect is reduced, but the recent advent of DPP-4 inhibitors and GLP-1 agonists/analogues has enabled restoration of at least some of the function of the incretin system, with accompanying improvements in glycaemic control. Two GLP-1 receptor agonists/analogues are currently approved for the treatment of T2DM - exenatide (Byetta((R)) , Eli Lilly and Co.) and liraglutide (Victoza((R)) , Novo Nordisk); a once-weekly formulation of exenatide (Bydureon((R)) , Eli Lilly & Co.) has also been approved by the European Medicines Agency. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recently published guidance on the use of liraglutide in T2DM, based on evidence from the Liraglutide Effect and Action in Diabetes (LEAD) Phase III trial programme, which compared liraglutide with existing glucose-lowering therapies, such as exenatide and insulin glargine. The LEAD programme reported HbA(1c) reductions from 0.8-1.5% with liraglutide (1.2 and 1.8 mg), accompanied by low rates of hypoglycaemia and some weight loss; side effects were primarily gastrointestinal in nature (e.g. nausea and diarrhoea). Based on the findings of the LEAD studies and the NICE recommendation, liraglutide now represents an important therapy widely available in the UK for certain patient groups, including those with a body mass index (BMI) >/=35.0 kg/m(2) , and patients with a BMI <35 kg/m(2) who are considered unsuitable for insulin and are failing to meet targets for glycaemic control with oral agents. NICE guidelines still suggest that most patients without considerable obesity (BMI <35 kg/m(2) ) are likely to be best managed using insulin therapy. Evidence also suggests a future role for GLP-1 mimetics in combination with basal insulin. (c) 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.