A new insulin and GLP-1 combination medication has been approved by the European Union for treating type 2 diabetes, it has been announced.
Suliqua, developed by Sanofi-Aventis, is a combination of insulin glargine, a basal insulin analogue, and lixisenatide, a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist.
The treatment can be taken when metformin has not been effective enough, on its ow, to control blood sugar levels. Suliqua is a once-daily injection that will be available in pre-filled pens with varying doses to help meet the different needs of individuals.
Before receiving approval, Suliqua had been referred to by the names iGlarLixi and LixiLan. In September, last year, we reported that clinical trials showed the combination drug had helped people with type 2 diabetes to achieve better diabetes control than people on just insulin glargine.
The European approval of Suliqua follows its approval in the US in November 2016. Suliqua is not the first insulin and GLP-1 combination drug to be approved in Europe. Xultophy, from Danish firm Novo Nordisk, was approved in 2014 and has been available in the UK since June 2015.
Dr Elias Zerhouni, president of global research and development for Sanofi, said: “The approval of Suliqua represents the successful culmination of a concerted effort by Sanofi scientists to bring two injectable treatments together in a single and precisely titratable dose. We believe Suliqua will make it easier for patients with inadequately controlled diabetes to reach their treatment goals.”
Javier Ampudia Blasco, specialist of endocrinology and nutrition at the Clinic University Hospital Valencia, Spain, said: “We welcome the addition of Suliqua in the EU to help address the needs of people living with type 2 diabetes who are currently not reaching their blood sugar targets.
“The simple administration of this combination product of insulin and a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist in a single daily injection may help to reduce the daily complexity of diabetes management and improve efficacy for people with type 2 diabetes compared with its components.”

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