Kidney disease is less likely to develop in people with type 2 diabetes who take Victoza (liraglutide), researchers have said.
Victoza is a glucagon like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogue which helps control blood sugar levels and enable weight loss.
Now researchers have found it also has other benefits after testing it in a study involving more than 9,000 people with type 2 diabetes who were also at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
The Liraglutide Effect and Action in Diabetes – Evaluation of Cardiovascular Outcome Results (LEADER) trial randomly selected whether people would receive Victoza or a placebo and the findings were recorded.
The results, which have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed those in the Victoza group were 22 per cent less likely to develop kidney disease, when compared to those who had taken the placebo.
The researchers concluded: “This prespecified secondary analysis shows that, when added to usual care, liraglutide resulted in lower rates of the development and progression of diabetic kidney disease than placebo.”
The team think the drug may help lower the chances of developing kidney problems because of “intensified glucose control”, which has been previously linked to the onset of macroalbuminuria, a condition that occurs when kidney disease causes albumin to leak into the urine.
Despite the positive findings, researchers still do not know the long-term effects of liraglutide on people with kidney problems and type 2 diabetes.
Dr de Boer, who led the study, said: “Overall, the new data on GLP-1 agonists, SGLT2 inhibitors, and kidney outcomes suggest a hopeful change in story line in which, over time, the incidence and progression of diabetic kidney disease may be reduced and its cardiovascular sequelae mitigated.”
These findings follow on from additional results reported this week which showed Victoza helped lower the risk of cardiovascular events.

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