Novo Nordisk’s diabetes drug Victoza has failed a trial that assessed its suitability to be added to insulin therapy.
The drug, which is a brand name for liraglutide, made episodes of low blood sugar significantly worse.
The study showed that adding Victoza to insulin therapy did aid blood glucose control better than a placebo, but the risk of hypoglycemia immediately after treatment was too great.
Liraglutide is currently only used to treat type 2 diabetes. Novo Nordisk was hoping that, following successful trials, its use could be expanded to cover type 1 diabetes treatment, too.
The trial involved around 1,400 patients, all of whom were treated with insulin. On top of the insulin, each patient was given either one of three doses of liraglutide – 0.6mg, 1.2mg, or 1.8mg – or a placebo.
The higher two doses of liraglutide were more effective than placebo when it came to reducing HbA1c levels. They also aided weight loss. The 0.6mg dose performed even worse than the placebo.
However, the risk of hypoglycemia associated with liraglutide treatment was considered too great.
“Based on a risk/benefit assessment of the overall dataset from the two ADJUNCT trials, Novo Nordisk does currently not intend to submit an application to expand the label of Victoza for use in type 1 diabetes,” said the company in a statement.

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