Novo Nordisk has announced that semaglutide, a new GPL-1 analogue drug, outperformed Eli Lilly’s equivalent Trulicity (dulaglutide) in a new trial.
Semaglutide, a once-weekly blood glucose-lowering drug, led to better glucose control and enabled greater weight loss compared to Trulicity, Novo Nordisk reports.
“The superior glucose control and weight loss achieved with semaglutide compared to dulaglutide in this trial reinforces the unprecedented results observed in the entire SUSTAIN programmen,” said Mads Krogsgaard Thomse, executive vice president and chief science officer of Novo Nordisk.
“We are excited about the potential of semaglutide to set a new standard for treatment of type 2 diabetes.”
Semaglutide is a type 2 diabetes drug which stimulates the release of insulin and suppresses glucagon, working to decrease appetite and food intake. It is currently being considered for approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which grants licenses for the use of treatment across the continent.
In this new 40-week trial, 69 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes who were treated with a 0.5mg dose of semaglutide achieved their HbA1c targets compared to 52 per cent in the 0.75mg Trulicity group. Those in the 0.5mg semaglutide group had a reduction in average HbA1c of 1.5% against a 1.1% in the Trulicity group.
Additionally, 1.0mg doses of semaglutide reduced average HbA1c results by 1.8%, with a decreased reduction of 1.4% noted among those treated with 1.5mg Trulicity. Results from these higher doses saw 79 per cent of people on semaglutide reach their HbA1c targets, compared to 68 per cent on Trulicity.
Those on the 0.5mg semaglutide also lost an average of 4.6kg of weight compared to 2.3kg with the 0.75mg dosage of dulaglutide; the higher doses led to 6.5kg on semaglutide compared to 3.0kg on Trulicity.
Scientists said semaglutide was also safe and well-tolerated. There were side effects including sickness for both sets of dosages comparable between the two drugs, but these did subside.
Less then 10 per cent of people treated in all the regimes stopped taking the drugs due to adverse events.

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