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Novo Nordisk Liraglutide Diabetes Drug Promising For Treatment

Armen Hareyan's picture
Novo Nordisk Diabetes Treatment

A new class diabetes drug showed to be safe and effective in a large-scale trial for treatment and management of diabetes.

The drug liraglutide is presented by Novo Nordisk. It belongs to a new generation of diabetes drugs based on glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) - a natural body hormone aimed at protecting cells from death. The phase 3 one year long trial tested the drug on type 2 diabetes patients.

Liraglutide successfully stimulated insulin production, promoted glucagon (hormone managing blood sugar levels) release from pancreas, reduced appetite. Drug's diabetes positive effect showed to be long lasting.

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Compared to currently available diabetes treatment drugs, liraglutide helps patients lose weight which is extremely important for diabetes treatment. In this trial liraglutide was compared with glimepiride to check drugs' affect on weight and found that those taking liraglutide lost 4.4 pounds, while those taking glimepiride gained 2.2 pound.

Currently there are a few diabetes treatment drugs undergoing development process based on this innovative technology and one FDA approved drug exenatide (Byetta) marketed by Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly. All the drugs are being designed simultaneously, thus soon diabetes patients will have a wide choice of novel drugs.

This trial also compared liraglutide with exenatide and found that the first is better because it requires only one injection a day, while exenatide requires two injections. However, exenatide is now undergoing improvement process to move to once a week injection. Besides, exenatide injection requires standard hypodermic needle, while liraglutide injection requires ultrafine needle.

However, there is no drug without adverse side effects: liraglutide diabetes drug was reported to have a small risk of pancreatitis with symptoms like nausea, vomiting and belly pain. The risk was not statistically significantly and the symptoms actually affected only a few diabetes patients in the trial.