A new type 2 diabetes combination medication has been launched in the UK.
Developed by pharmaceutical company Sanofi, Suliqua combines insulin glargine, a basal insulin, and lixisenatide, which is a GLP-1 receptor agonist drug.
Suliqua is an injectable medication that is taken once daily. It has been authorised for use by people with type 2 diabetes in the UK to be taken alongside metformin when adequate blood glucose control has not been achieved on metformin alone.
The drug was initially approved by the European Medicines Agency for treating type 2 diabetes in 2017 and, earlier this year, permission was granted for it to be used among a wider range of people in the US.
Dr Thomas Barber, Associate Clinical Professor in Endocrinology and Diabetes, University of Warwick, and Honorary Consultant Endocrinologist at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust said: “Diabetes can have a huge impact on the people it affects, so finding treatments that are convenient and easy to use is extremely important.
“The simple administration of an insulin glargine/lixisenatide fixed ratio combination in a single daily injection may help to reduce the daily complexity of diabetes management.”
The UK approval comes after the drug was trialled in two separate studies involving more than 1,900 people. Researchers looked at its efficacy and safety profile and found its benefits were significant.
As with all medications, side effects may occur. Possible side effects of Suliqua include hypoglycemia, nausea, headache, diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infection and allergic reactions.
The approval of Sanofi’s Suliqua means that there is a choice in the UK of medications that combine long-acting insulin with a GLP-1 receptor agonist. Novo Nordisk’s Xultophy is the other medication available. Xultophy is a combination of basal insulin, insulin degludec, and the GLP-1 receptor agonist, liraglutide.