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Novo Nordisk Presents Diabetes Drug Victoza Results Comparing Merck Januvia

Novo Nordisk has released the results of a study comparing the once-daily human GLP-1 analogue Victoza (liraglutide) with a DPP-4 inhibitor Januvia. The trial showed that Victoza produced greater reductions in HbA1c, fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and body weight than Merck's Januvia, with similar or better overall treatment satisfaction.

Victoza and Januvia are both incretin-based diabetes therapies. Victoza mimics the activity of the naturally-occurring hormone, GLP-1, while Januvia blocks the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of GLP-1 and other substances.

The study was a 26-week, randomised, parallel-group, open-label trial comparing safety and efficacy of the two recommended doses of once-daily Victoza (1.2mg and 1.8mg) with once-daily Januvia (100mg), all added to metformin. It was conducted in Europe and North America in 665 people with type 2 diabetes who were not adequately controlled on daily treatment with =1,500mg metformin alone.

Reportedly, more patients achieved the HbA1c targets of <7·0% (American Diabetes Association [ADA]). Nearly twice as many study participants on Victoza reached the ADA goal compared to the Januvia group (56% and 44% in the 1.8mg and 1.2mg Victoza groups versus 22% in the Januvia group).

Richard Pratley, from diabetes and metabolism translational medicine unit at University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, said: “These data clearly show that Victoza at both doses was more effective than Januvia at achieving blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes with the benefit of weight loss. With so many patients still struggling to lower their blood sugar, Victoza represents an effective new option.”