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Bydureon Found to be Not as Effective as Victoza in DURATION-6 Trial

Published: 3/31/11
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Novo Nordisk’s once daily GLP-1 agonist Victoza (above) provided slightly better improvements in blood glucose control than Amylin/Eli Lilly/ Alkermes’s once weekly GLP-1 agonist Bydureon (not shown) in a recent trial.

In early March, Amylin/Eli Lilly/Alkermes released results from the much-anticipated DURATION-6 trial, in which their once weekly GLP-1 agonist Bydureon was compared with Victoza, Novo Nordisk’s once daily GLP-1 agonist. As a reminder, GLP-1 agonists help to lower blood glucose levels, are not associated with hypoglycemia, promote weight loss, and are in general well tolerated (see our Learning Curve in diaTribe #8). Bydureon is not yet approved by the FDA, but is scheduled to be submitted for review later this year, with a potential approval in the first half of 2012 (see our Learning Curve in diaTribe #26 for more on Bydureon’s regulatory status). In the DURATION-6 study, Bydureon did not lower blood glucose (measured using A1c) as much as Victoza. After 26 weeks of treatment, participants receiving Bydureon experienced an average 1.3% A1c reduction, while participants treated with Victoza had an average 1.5% reduction in A1c. From a practical perspective, a 0.2% difference in A1c is quite small. In DURATION-6, Bydureon was associated with lower rates of side effects than Victoza: of those on Bydureon, 9% reported nausea, 4% vomiting, and 6% diarrhea, compared to 20% nausea, 11% vomiting, and 13% diarrhea in those on Victoza. Bydureon’s once weekly injection (compared to once daily with Victoza) and lower nausea rates will likely make it an attractive option once approved, despite being found in this study to be slightly less effective than Victoza at controlling blood sugar levels. We believe that currently about one million people with type 2 diabetes globally take GLP-1 agonists and that that number will climb substantially in 2011 and beyond.  –VW

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