Mechanism of Action
Liraglutide is an acylated human Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist with 97% amino acid sequence homology to endogenous human GLP-1(7-37). GLP-1(7-37) represents <20% of total circulating endogenous GLP-1. Like GLP-1(7-37), liraglutide activates the GLP-1 receptor, a membrane-bound cell-surface receptor coupled to adenylyl cyclase by the stimulatory G-protein, Gs, in pancreatic beta cells. Liraglutide increases intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) leading to insulin release in the presence of elevated glucose concentrations. This insulin secretion subsides as blood glucose concentrations decrease and approach euglycemia. Liraglutide also decreases glucagon secretion in a glucose-dependent manner. The mechanism of blood glucose lowering also involves a delay in gastric emptying.
GLP-1(7-37) has a half-life of 1.5-2 minutes due to degradation by the ubiquitous endogenous enzymes, dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) and neutral endopeptidases (NEP). Unlike native GLP-1, liraglutide is stable against metabolic degradation by both peptidases and has a plasma half-life of 13 hours after subcutaneous administration. The pharmacokinetic profile of liraglutide, which makes it suitable for once daily administration, is a result of self-association that delays absorption, plasma protein binding and stability against metabolic degradation by DPP-IV and NEP.
Victoza's pharmacodynamic profile is consistent with its pharmacokinetic profile observed after single subcutaneous administration as Victoza lowered fasting, premeal and postprandial glucose throughout the day [ see Clinical Pharmacology].
Fasting and postprandial glucose was measured before and up to 5 hours after a standardized meal after treatment to steady state with 0.6, 1.2 and 1.8 mg Victoza or placebo. Compared to placebo, the postprandial plasma glucose AUC0-300min was 35% lower after Victoza 1.2 mg and 38% lower after Victoza 1.8 mg.
Glucose-dependent insulin secretion
The effect of a single dose of 7.5 mcg/kg (~ 0.7 mg)†Victoza†on†insulin secretion rates (ISR) was investigated in 10 patients with type 2 diabetes during graded glucose infusion. In these patients, on average, the ISR response was increased in a glucose-dependent manner (Figure 2).
Figure 2 Mean Insulin Secretion Rate (ISR) versus Glucose Concentration Following Single-Dose Victoza 7.5 mcg/kg (~0.7 mg) or Placebo in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes (N=10) During Graded Glucose Infusion
Victoza lowered blood glucose by stimulating insulin secretion and lowering glucagon secretion. A single dose of Victoza 7.5 mcg/kg (~ 0.7 mg) did not impair glucagon response to low glucose concentrations.
Victoza causes a delay of gastric emptying, thereby reducing the rate at which postprandial glucose appears in the circulation.
Cardiac Electrophysiology (QTc)
The effect of Victoza on cardiac repolarization was tested in a QTc study. Victoza at steady state concentrations with daily doses up to 1.8 mg did not produce QTc prolongation.
Absorption - Following subcutaneous administration, maximum concentrations of liraglutide are achieved at 8-12 hours post dosing. The mean peak (Cmax) and total (AUC) exposures of liraglutide were 35 ng/mL and 960 ng∑h/mL, respectively, for a subcutaneous single dose of 0.6 mg. After subcutaneous single dose administrations, Cmax and AUC of liraglutide increased proportionally over the therapeutic dose range of 0.6 mg to 1.8 mg. At 1.8 mg Victoza, the average steady state concentration of liraglutide over 24 hours was approximately 128 ng/mL. AUC0-‚ąě was equivalent between upper arm and abdomen, and between upper arm and thigh. AUC0-‚ąě from thigh was 22% lower than that from abdomen. However, liraglutide exposures were considered comparable among these three subcutaneous injection sites. Absolute bioavailability of liraglutide following subcutaneous administration is approximately 55%.
Distribution - The mean apparent volume of distribution after subcutaneous administration of Victoza 0.6 mg is approximately 13 L. The mean volume of distribution after intravenous administration of Victoza is 0.07 L/kg. Liraglutide is extensively bound to plasma protein (>98%).
Metabolism - During the initial 24 hours following administration of a single [3H]-liraglutide dose to healthy subjects, the major component in plasma was intact liraglutide. Liraglutide is endogenously metabolized in a similar manner to large proteins without a specific organ as a major route of elimination.
Elimination - Following a [3H]-liraglutide dose, intact liraglutide was not detected in urine or feces. Only a minor part of the administered radioactivity was excreted as liraglutide-related metabolites in urine or feces (6% and 5%, respectively). The majority of urine and feces radioactivity was excreted during the first 6-8 days. The mean apparent clearance following subcutaneous administration of a single dose of liraglutide is approximately 1.2 L/h with an elimination half-life of approximately 13 hours, making Victoza suitable for once daily administration.
Elderly - Age had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of Victoza based on a pharmacokinetic study in healthy elderly subjects (65 to 83 years) and population pharmacokinetic analyses of patients 18 to 80 years of age
[see Use in Specific Populations
Gender - Based on the results of population pharmacokinetic analyses, females have 34% lower weight-adjusted clearance of Victoza compared to males. Based on the exposure response data, no dose adjustment is necessary based on gender.
Race and Ethnicity - Race and ethnicity had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of Victoza based on the results of population pharmacokinetic analyses that included Caucasian, Black, Asian and Hispanic/Non-Hispanic subjects.
Body Weight - Body weight significantly affects the pharmacokinetics of Victoza based on results of population pharmacokinetic analyses. The exposure of liraglutide decreases with an increase in baseline body weight. However, the 1.2 mg and 1.8 mg daily doses of Victoza provided adequate systemic exposures over the body weight range of 40 160 kg evaluated in the clinical trials. Liraglutide was not studied in patients with body weight >160 kg.
Pediatric - Victoza has not been studied in pediatric patients
[see Use in Specific Populations
Renal Impairment - The single-dose pharmacokinetics of Victoza were evaluated in subjects with varying degrees of renal impairment. Subjects with mild (estimated creatinine clearance 50-80 mL/min) to severe (estimated creatinine clearance <30 mL/min) renal impairment and subjects with end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis were included in the trial. Compared to healthy subjects, liraglutide AUC in mild, moderate, and severe renal impairment and in end-stage renal disease was on average 35%, 19%, 29% and 30% lower, respectively
[see Use in Specific Populations
Hepatic Impairment - The single-dose pharmacokinetics of Victoza were evaluated in subjects with varying degrees of hepatic impairment. Subjects with mild (Child Pugh score 5-6) to severe (Child Pugh score > 9) hepatic impairment were included in the trial. Compared to healthy subjects, liraglutide AUC in subjects with mild, moderate and severe hepatic impairment was on average 11%, 14% and 42% lower, respectively [ see Use in Specific Populations].
In vitro assessment of drug-drug interactions
Victoza has low potential for pharmacokinetic drug-drug interactions related to cytochrome P450 (CYP) and plasma protein binding.
In vivo assessment of drug-drug interactions
The drug-drug interaction studies were performed at steady state with Victoza 1.8 mg/day. Before administration of concomitant treatment, subjects underwent a 0.6 mg weekly dose increase to reach the maximum dose of 1.8 mg/day. Administration of the interacting drugs was timed so that Cmax of Victoza (8-12 h) would coincide with the absorption peak of the co-administered drugs.
A single dose of digoxin 1 mg was administered 7 hours after the dose of Victoza at steady state. The concomitant administration with Victoza resulted in a reduction of digoxin AUC by 16%; Cmax decreased by 31%. Digoxin median time to maximal concentration (Tmax) was delayed from 1 h to 1.5 h.
A single dose of lisinopril 20 mg was administered 5 minutes after the dose of Victoza at steady state. The co-administration with Victoza resulted in a reduction of lisinopril AUC by 15%; Cmax decreased by 27%. Lisinopril median Tmax was delayed from 6 h to 8 h with Victoza.
Victoza did not change the overall exposure (AUC) of atorvastatin following a single dose of atorvastatin 40 mg, administered 5 hours after the dose of Victoza at steady state. Atorvastatin Cmax was decreased by 38% and median Tmax was delayed from 1 h to 3 h with Victoza.
Victoza did not change the overall exposure (AUC) of acetaminophen following a single dose of acetaminophen 1000 mg, administered 8 hours after the dose of Victoza at steady state. Acetaminophen Cmax was decreased by 31% and median Tmax was delayed up to 15 minutes.
Victoza did not change the overall exposure (AUC) of griseofulvin following co-administration of a single dose of griseofulvin 500 mg with Victoza at steady state. Griseofulvin Cmax increased by 37% while median Tmax did not change.
A single dose of an oral contraceptive combination product containing 0.03 mg ethinylestradiol and 0.15 mg levonorgestrel was administered under fed conditions and 7 hours after the dose of Victoza at steady state. Victoza lowered ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel Cmax by 12% and 13%, respectively. There was no effect of Victoza on the overall exposure (AUC) of ethinylestradiol. Victoza increased the levonorgestrel AUC0-‚ąě by 18%. Victoza delayed Tmax for both ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel by 1.5 h.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
A 104-week carcinogenicity study was conducted in male and female CD-1 mice at doses of 0.03, 0.2, 1.0, and 3.0 mg/kg/day liraglutide administered by bolus subcutaneous injection yielding systemic exposures 0.2-, 2-, 10- and 45-times the human exposure, respectively, at the MRHD of 1.8 mg/day based on plasma AUC comparison. A dose-related increase in benign thyroid C-cell adenomas was seen in the 1.0 and the 3.0 mg/kg/day groups with incidences of 13% and 19% in males and 6% and 20% in females, respectively. C-cell adenomas did not occur in control groups or 0.03 and 0.2 mg/kg/day groups. Treatment-related malignant C-cell carcinomas occurred in 3% of females in the 3.0 mg/kg/day group. Thyroid C-cell tumors are rare findings during carcinogenicity testing in mice. A treatment-related increase in fibrosarcomas was seen on the dorsal skin and subcutis, the body surface used for drug injection, in males in the 3 mg/kg/day group. These fibrosarcomas were attributed to the high local concentration of drug near the injection site. The liraglutide concentration in the clinical formulation (6 mg/mL) is 10-times higher than the concentration in the formulation used to administer 3 mg/kg/day liraglutide to mice in the carcinogenicity study (0.6 mg/mL).
A 104-week carcinogenicity study was conducted in male and female Sprague Dawley rats at doses of 0.075, 0.25 and 0.75 mg/kg/day liraglutide administered by bolus subcutaneous injection with exposures 0.5-, 2- and 8-times the human exposure, respectively, resulting from the MRHD based on plasma AUC comparison. A treatment-related increase in benign thyroid C-cell adenomas was seen in males in 0.25 and 0.75 mg/kg/day liraglutide groups with incidences of 12%, 16%, 42%, and 46% and in all female liraglutide-treated groups with incidences of 10%, 27%, 33%, and 56% in 0 (control), 0.075, 0.25, and 0.75 mg/kg/day groups, respectively. A treatment-related increase in malignant thyroid C-cell carcinomas was observed in all male liraglutide-treated groups with incidences of 2%, 8%, 6%, and 14% and in females at 0.25 and 0.75 mg/kg/day with incidences of 0%, 0%, 4%, and 6% in 0 (control), 0.075, 0.25, and 0.75 mg/kg/day groups, respectively. Thyroid C-cell carcinomas are rare findings during carcinogenicity testing in rats.
Human relevance of thyroid C-cell tumors in mice and rats is unknown and could not be determined by clinical studies or nonclinical studies
[see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions
Liraglutide was negative with and without metabolic activation in the Ames test for mutagenicity and in a human peripheral blood lymphocyte chromosome aberration test for clastogenicity. Liraglutide was negative in repeat-dose in vivo micronucleus tests in rats.
In rat fertility studies using subcutaneous doses of 0.1, 0.25 and 1.0 mg/kg/day liraglutide, males were treated for 4 weeks prior to and throughout mating and females were treated 2 weeks prior to and throughout mating until gestation day 17. No direct adverse effects on male fertility was observed at doses up to 1.0 mg/kg/day, a high dose yielding an estimated systemic exposure 11- times the human exposure at the MRHD, based on plasma AUC. In female rats, an increase in early embryonic deaths occurred at 1.0 mg/kg/day. Reduced body weight gain and food consumption were observed in females at the 1.0 mg/kg/day dose.