Dramatic Results with New Diabetes Drug
The experimental drug liraglutide significantlyimproved blood sugar levelsand reduced weight in patients withtype 2 diabetes. These results stemfrom a 14-week mid-stage clinical trialby Novo Nordisk. The study included165 patients who received 0.65, 1.25,and 1.9 mg of liraglutide or placebo. Thedrug yielded positive results at all 3doses, compared with placebo. The 1.9-mg dose reduced hemoglobin A1C levelsby an average of 1.74%. Besides thereduced A1C levels, patients in the 1.9-mg liraglutide group lost an average of6.6 lb in 14 weeks, compared with aweight loss of 2.6 lb in the placebogroup. The weight loss caused by liraglutidealso is significant in that it did notrequire any changes in diet and exercise.While taking previous medications,study patients failed to reduce their A1Clevels below the American DiabetesAssociation-recommended 7%; liraglutidepatients had A1C levels fall below7% after 14 weeks. The drug, which alsolowered blood pressure, improves theway the pancreas' insulin-secretingcells respond to glucose. Results of thestudy were presented at the AmericanDiabetes Association Scientific Meetingin June 2006.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.