BARCELONA – Patients with type 2 diabetes who were treated with semaglutide achieved greater reductions in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels and body weight, compared with those receiving liraglutide, according to results presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
In the phase 3btrial, conducted in 11 European countries, mean glycated hemoglobin at 30 weeks decreased by 1.7% with once-weekly semaglutide and 1.0% for once-daily liraglutide, from the overall baseline level of 8.2%. The estimated treatment difference (ETD) between the two treatments was –0.69 percentage points (95% confidence interval, –0.82 to –0.56; P less than .0001).
Mean body weight decreased during the same period by 5.8 kg with semaglutide and 1.9 kg with liraglutide, from a baseline of 96.9 kg. The ETD was 3.83 kg (95% CI, –4.57 to –3.09; P less than .0001).
The doses of semaglutide and liraglutide used in the study were 1.0 mg and 1.2 mg, respectively, the latter being the dose that is used most commonly in clinical practice, study investigatorexplained in an interview at the meeting.
“We know that at a dose of 1.8 mg, liraglutide is more effective than 1.2 mg, but it’s about whether it is deemed more cost effective,” said Dr. Capehorn, who is clinical manager at Rotherham (England) Institute for Obesity, Clifton Medical Centre. “Certainly, in the United Kingdom, we’re encouraged to use the 1.2-mg dose” according to guidance from the, and “other European countries are the same.”
Dr. Capehorn noted that studies are being done with a higher dose of semaglutide to see if it has potential as a weight loss drug in its own right in patients who do not have type 2 diabetes. “I care as much about obesity and cardiovascular disease as I do about chasing the HbA1c level and getting that reduced, so I would rather pick an agent that covers all three [components], than just looking at the HbA1c,” he said.
In SUSTAIN 10,577 adults with type 2 diabetes and an HbA1c level of between 7.0% and 11.0% who were on stable doses of one to three oral antidiabetic drugs were randomized to receive semaglutide (n = 290) or liraglutide (n = 287) for 30 weeks.
The primary endpoint was the change in HbA1c from baseline to week 30, and the secondary confirmatory endpoint was change in body weight over the same period.
In presenting the findings, which were simultaneously published in, Dr. Capehorn noted that the efficacy results were consistent with those of other SUSTAIN trials that compared semaglutide with other glucagonlike peptide–1 receptor antagonists, notably (with exenatide extended release) and (with dulaglutide).
Other efficacy findings from SUSTAIN 10 were that semaglutide produced greater mean changes than did liraglutide in both fasting plasma glucose and in a 7-point, self-monitoring of blood glucose profile.
A greater percentage of people treated with semaglutide, compared with liraglutide, also achieved their glycemic targets of less than 7.0% (80% vs. 46%, respectively) and of 6.5% or less (58% vs. 25%), and their weight loss targets of 5% or more (56% vs. 18%) and 10% or more (19% vs. 4%).
In addition, more semaglutide- than liraglutide-treated patients achieved an HbA1c target of less than 7.0% without severe or blood glucose–confirmed symptomatic hypoglycemia, with or without weight gain (76% vs. 37%; P less than .0001). There were also more semaglutide patients who achieved an HbA1c reduction of 1% or more and a weight loss reduction of 10% or more (17% vs. 4% for liraglutide, P less than .0001).
The safety profiles were similar for semaglutide and liraglutide, Dr. Capehorn noted, but gastrointestinal adverse events were more prevalent in patients receiving semaglutide, compared with liraglutide (43.9% vs. 38.3%), and more patients receiving semaglutide discontinued treatment prematurely because of those adverse events (11.4% vs. 6.6% for liraglutide).
Novo Nordisk sponsored the study. Dr. Capehorn reported receiving research funding from, providing advisory board support to, and speaker fees from Novo Nordisk and from several other companies.
SOURCE: Capehorn M et al. EASD 2019, ; Capehorn M et al. Diabetes Metab. 2019 Sep 17. .