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Lilly’s GLP-1 Agonist Trulicity Shows Promising Results in Trials

We’ve been following the development of Lilly’s Trulicity (dulaglutide), a once-weekly GLP-1 receptor agonist, for almost two years now, so it was encouraging to hear an update on the drug at ADA last month. Results from recent trials presented at ADA have found that compared to the basal insulin Lantus (insulin glargine), Trulicity lowers A1c (1.08 decrease in A1c value from a baseline of 8.1 on 1.5 mg dose of Trulicity after 52 weeks, compared to a 0.63 A1c decrease on Lantus), has weight loss benefits, and reduces hypoglycemia, with efficacy similar to the already available once-daily GLP-1 agonist Victoza (Novo Nordisk’s liraglutide). The biggest advantage Victoza has over Trulicity is weight loss. While both drugs have weight-loss benefits, people on Victoza lost on average ~8 lbs. over a 26-week period, compared to only ~6 lbs. lost by those on Trulicity. However, these effects are modest, and patients may place more value on the convenience of Trulicity’s once-weekly dosing, depending on their management.

The new Trulicity injection-device is also important to mention (see last month’s conference pearls), as the single-use pen was designed to eliminate “needle-phobia” by completely hiding the needle during all steps of the injection process. The simple instructions (“uncap, place and unlock, inject”) make it extremely easy to use, and study participants using the device report experiencing little pain and decreased fear of injection. Trulicity is currently under FDA review, and an FDA decision is expected later this year. –AJW

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