Diabetes drug liraglutide prevents type 2 diabetes diagnoses by 80 per cent, study finds

Jack Woodfield
Thu, 23 Feb 2017
Diabetes drug liraglutide prevents type 2 diabetes diagnoses by 80 per cent, study finds
A drug used to treat type 2 diabetes could reduce the risk of developing the condition by 80 per cent, according to a new international trial.

This three-year study led by the University of Liverpool tested the effects of 3.0 mg liraglutide on more than 2,250 adults with prediabetes.

Liraglutide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist, is delivered as a once-daily injection. It helps to enable weight loss by interacting with the part of the brain that controls appetite and energy intake.

The researchers wanted to find out whether 3.0 mg of the drug could delay the development of type 2 diabetes safely in people with prediabetes.

During the study, which was carried out at 191 research sites in 27 countries, half the participants were given liraglutide once every day for 160 weeks, and the other half were given a placebo.

All participants were also put on a calorie-controlled diet and advised to do more regular physical activity.

The results showed that regular adherence to the drug, combined with exercise and a controlled diet, reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 80 per cent over the 160-week (just over three years) period. Those taking liraglutide also achieved more sustained weight loss than those that were given the placebo.

"On the basis of our findings, liraglutide 3.0 mg can provide us with a new therapeutic approach for patients with obesity and prediabetes to substantially reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and its related complications," said Professor John Wilding, professor of medicine at the University of Liverpool.

"As healthcare professionals, it is important that we can offer a treatment to our type 2 diabetes patients that we are confident will achieve results in the real-world that are consistent with the results of the clinical trial programme."

The findings have been published in The Lancet.
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